Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Caught in the Middle

Happy Independence Day!  Should be filled with fun and family but instead.....not so much.  The key, I guess, is establishing traditions and never wavering them.  Being the youngest of 5, I don't think there were traditions.  In my early years, our yard had an incredible panoramic view of two cities so the neighbors would turn out in droves, stretched out in blankets on our front lawn to take in two fireworks displays.  My mom would not be real happy about this, as one who craves her space and privacy.  By the time I was ten, my siblings were starting families of their own and so I would tag along with my parents to go where they were.....a few great years when they lived near the coast of Maine were not hard to take.  Then I left, and did my own thing for a few years,  then back trying to tag along with my family in tow to whoever was doing something.....usually up at Rumney, NH where my parents and three sibling families spent summers.  By the time I was able to spend a summer at Rumney with my children, the sibling families were now heading to college and no longer there.  The past few years, we have had Vermont National Guard commitments which made for a unique and quiet-ish fourth.  My husband had to take part in a wreath laying ceremony on the grave of Calvin Coolidge, the only American President to be born on the 4th of July.  My daughter enjoyed that immensely.  People come from far and wide to gather in Plymouth Notch, Vermont.  We gather behind an Honor Guard, two high ranking soldiers from the Vermont Guard, and descendants of President Coolidge, and walk perhaps a mile, to the cemetery and gather while a wreath from the White House is laid and a few short speeches are made.  Then it's back to the historic village for a chicken barbecue on the lawn of the Wilder Inn.  We were usually back to my parents in time to see fireworks above the trees now and then catch the Boston 4th on tv with them.  This year Vermont Guard duties have changed.  Fireworks are now done on the 3rd and in a different spot not visible from my folks.  My siblings are off doing with their families, and my parents are sitting alone....and my daughter with her young family are left to make their own plans as well.  Hubby and I are off to do a paddle with friends, very rare for us as we usually go just the two of us, but it will be a nice change.  He can't comprehend the torn feeling I have.  For how many years did my parents sacrifice for all of us?  Is it wrong to feel guilty to be doing something just for hubby and myself?  We'll paddle this morning, then try and put a festive supper together to eat with my parents.  Next year, we'll have to rent them a cottage so they can spend the 4th enjoying my brother's large family back at Rumney.

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