Sometimes it’s about the fireworks, about checking them out, about being able to see great ones, about being wowed, about barbecues and pie.
Most of the time it’s about getting together.
We forget about George Washington and those other cats and all the drama they went through, unless we’ve been watching TURN on AMC. Then you think about the significance of the 4th weekly. But for the most part you catch glimpses of it in between the hot dogs, carne asada, and the Yankee Doodle Dandy song while the fireworks explode into the night.
That’s what I caught — a couple of good Sandlot moments throughout the day. Sandlot. I love that movie.
We caught a baseball game last night and managed to eat overpriced hot dogs and popcorn with our lemonades and enjoy our home team beat The Orioles 7-5. And we’d been to baseball games before but it was the first night both kids had seen fireworks on the baseball field. We’d seen fireworks before but nothing with Ray Charles singing O’ Beautiful in the background.
And while I was sitting there next to my kids I felt grateful. A sense of gratitude just covered me up like a blanket, being there at peace. Even with all the everyday drama and weekly failures that life brings me, breaking me down at times, wallowing in pints of Ben & Jerry’s or raging in frustration at my punching bag, right there and then, I was grateful for that moment. Grateful that I was able to have the freedom to hang out with my kids, at a ballpark, watch a baseball game, and enjoy fireworks. Simple stuff, I guess. I felt like I was having a small-town moment. It was a Sandlot moment, actually.
And I tried to breathe it in. If I had a mason jar I would have tried to capture it and hold onto to it for a while, you know for the days where you can’t find anything to be grateful for. I would have held onto that one for sure.
And I was sitting there in parking lot traffic after the game, just trying to get out onto the freeway, the craziness of the scene didn’t bother me. Most drivers were honking, frustrated, and angry – building up road rage. 38 minutes will do that to you. I was just sitting there listening to John Cougar Mellencamp, The Go-Go’s and the rest of the 80s lineup, thinking about my Sandlot moment. I had no worries … the kids were asleep, no one had to go to the bathroom, and I had gas in the tank.