Sunday, July 4, 2010

Come On, Feel the Noise

There are lives I can imagine without children, but none of them have the same laughter and noise.

Someone gave me a folk-art painting once with the above inscription on it. I thought of it just now as Hubby and I have collapsed on the couch on this Fourth of July, our kids upstairs lying silent and sunburned in their beds. Today was a day with lots of noise, and lots and lots of laughter. My girlfriends, my husband, my parents and I smiled until our faces hurt.

We spent the morning in a neighborhood patriotic parade, where people line the streets to watch us wheel our kids up and down in wagons wrapped in red, white and blue crepe paper. My eldest was part of a scooter brigade: her Daisy Girl Scout troop, all decked out in red and silver tinsel. There was a high school drum core in front of us. It was total madness, utter silliness, and oh, so much fun.
Then we had acrobatics and water races in the pool, followed by barbecue lunch with way too many people – but all of them our dearest friends -- jammed into our little kitchen. We found one dad happily eating alone on the living room sofa. He looked almost crestfallen when we found him a kitchen chair so he could join us in our rowdy meal.

Anyway, we’re exhausted, but feeling so satisfied.

I hope that even if I had a different life, a life without my own children, I would have been to that parade, tied red bows on my blue flip flops, and fed people homemade chocolate ice cream and fruit skewers formed into an American flag like I got to do today. I wonder if I would still be that woman without my girls to inspire me. I’m grateful that at this moment, their noise is still ringing in my ears.

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