July 5, 2005
The short version is:
We went to the Catskills for a wedding.
The wedding was lovely although we were super late to the ceremony (much to our horror), but otherwise everything ran smoothly and the bride and groom radiated a happy calm throughout. We had a great table or fellow Brooklynites, and we danced. The weather cooperated. The evenings ended with bonfires, sparklers, and fireflies. An unbeatable combination just about anywhere.
Raul Andres had many firsts: first time on grass (an upsetting experience), first time seeing a stream (he enjoyed it), first time in the pool (he's getting the hang of it), first time at a carnival (seemed to love it), first time for fireworks (they rattled him) etc. We're realizing to our horror that he is something of a city kid and needs to get out in nature more.
As a bonus Jenn's sister Becky tagged along for the weekend to help us with the baby. We had promised her a nice weekend away, but our hotel was more motel. Damn internet advertising. Sorry about the place Becks. Next time we'll do better. Still even with the sad Cobblestone Motel, we had lots of laughs.
. . . . .
I don't know why but I remember my July 4th's even better than Christmases, Thanksgivings, or New Years. Christmases all run together. Thanksgiving is a blur of food and New Years is too mixed up with the deaths in my family for me to sort them out. But July 4ths are crystal clear. If you were to sit me down, I could tell you where I was and what I was doing on every July 4th back to junior high school.
Last July 4th Jenn and I were just starting to pack up the house in LA for our move here. She was four months pregnant and we were just starting feel we were no longer two but three. The feeling was unformed though, full of unknowns. For Jenn the reality was facing her in the mirror each day as her body changed, and she was beginning to experience those small internal kicks that make the abstract real, but for me it was all still theoretical. For hours we would discuss the possibilities "what if he" or "what if she"...
We drove up to Santa Barbara on a whim. It was one of those perfect California days and we drove with the windows down listening to music not talking much. On long trips my wife always puts her feet up on the dashboard despite my protestations and one was no exception. Santa Barbara was crowded but by luck we found an empty room at a good hotel by the beach. The fireworks were perfect as was the nighttime swim in the heated pool later on. Afterwards wrapped ourselves in towels, left the window ajar for the breeze, and plotted and planned late into the night.
A year is only 365 days, but that was another life.
I was talking to someone at the wedding this weekend about parerenthoodhood this is the best I could come up with: When we look back at our life before, as happy and as in love as we were, when we remember that time now we feel as if we were missing this person who had not yet been born. We didn't know it yet, but our lives while so very full, were still empty.