I asked Henri what he wanted to do for July 4th and he said, “Clean the garage.”
“Seriously? I lost 50 lbs. to look good in a bikini and you want me to spend July 4th in the garage cleaning?”
“Fair enough,” he laughed. “We can go to the pool at the park.”
“We could…or we could make memories.”
He cast a wary eye at me. “Where did you have in mind?”
“Padre Island, Corpus Christie. It’s only a four hour drive down, and another four back.”
“Make memories,” she told me, handing me the box of Kleenex. Monica was a single mom and my friend at work helping me get through that first day back from maternity leave. If I had an exotic job, like making movies, or an important job, like being a Senator, I might have even enjoyed returning to work after 3 ½ months, but managing office buildings seemed like such a stupid waste of time; time that should be spent with my baby.
“You’ll never feel like you have enough time with your baby, so make the time you do have with her count. Make memories. Go to a pumpkin patch every Halloween and watch her change over each year’s picture. Create your own traditions. Make memories,” she repeated.
All the advice I received about diapers and sleep schedules has faded from my mind, but ‘make memories,’ thankfully, has stuck. Good ideas tend to be very sticky.
Now we have memories stuck in our mind of little Henry jumping up and down shouting, “Beach! Beach!” the first time he saw the water. Recollections of powdery white sand warm beneath our feet leading to the Gulf waves where we splashed for hours. Memoirs of driving back in the dark and seeing fireworks burst their brilliant colors in each town we passed on the way home and hearing Rylee whisper before falling asleep:
Happy birthday, America. This was the best July 4th ever.
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