Our 4th of July started out pleasant enough. We went to the parade first and the kids enjoyed it. We got candy and some free coupons to the movie theatre by us and Red Robin. That’s always good. I tried to catch the highlights of the parade.
A little bit later, we headed over to our friend’s house (Bryan & Megan) for their 4th of July festivities. It was a perfectly hot day. The sun was shining and felt good. The kids played together and us grown ups had some beer and played some grown up games. I discovered that I am horribly inadequate at frisbie throwing and vowed to practice a lot before I returned. I might just need some private lessons. That’s just how badly I throw a Frisbee.
Everything was fine and fun but then around 8:30pm, Emma started to complain of a headache again. She was really in pain and was near tears so I decided to leave. We got about a mile down the road on the East Beltline when Emma tells me she has to throw up. I get her to hold on while I pull over on the side of the road, throw my hazards on and go running around to the other side of the van. There wasn’t time to get her unstrapped from her car seat and so I had to just give her a travel coffee mug to use. Poor little kid. She did a great job and I was proud of her aim (much better than my Frisbee throwing aim). I was rinsing the cup out with water and making sure she wasn’t going to puke anymore when I noticed flashing lights behind me. I see a state trooper walking up to me and she asked if everything was ok. I explained how Emma had just gotten her vaccinations on Tuesday. The officer must have been a mom herself because she followed up with ‘ah… and she’s having a reaction to it?’. I nodded my head and was horrified to find that tears were welling up in my eyes and a hard lump was in my throat. WTH?
Ever since I had children, I cry at the drop of a hat. Commercials, songs, stories, movies… I tear up when the kids do something I’m proud of or when they’re hurt. I have no control over it anymore and I find myself embarassed about it often. Before having the kids, I would rather have someone punch me in the face than to let anyone see my cry. But now, it’s like my heart beats inside these 2 little bodies.
I feel terrible for Emma and don’t want to her to see me upset so I close her door. I feel like it’s my fault that she’s sick and the kids have to miss the fireworks. I know she needed to get those shots but it stinks when you do and it makes them feel horrible. Emma feels absolutely awful and Gerrit is sobbing because he doesn’t get to spend the night at their friends’ house. I feel sorry for them and for our ruined night.
And so, I find myself standing on the side of a road, washing puke out of my coffee mug and trying to talk to a State Trooper. I’m grateful that she was a woman and empathetic. There’s just an understanding between moms and I’m convinced she was a mother also. She could have thought I was a lunatic for being so upset but she didn’t. She could have asked me for my license & registration and made us sit there longer but she didn’t. She gave me a sympathetic smile and wished us luck getting home. I thanked her for checking on us and continued on my way. I was grateful that Gerrit had stopped crying while the Trooper was there and that my overprotective dogs didn’t bark or try to get out of the van either. We didn’t get to see the fireworks but it could have been way worse. Maybe next year will be better.