Sorry, sorry, I haven't blogged anything here in ages. I have mostly moved to Google+, but this is so intensely familiar and personal, and I was less concerned about accidentally hitting "submit" here before I made sure I'd picked the right circles and...anyway, I am probably about to crosspost.
In other news, Sam continues to be totally adorable. I have discovered that with a fan pointing straight at my bed, I can probably survive summer in Boston without air conditioning. And, for the first time since I left Alexandria, I am renewing my lease and staying put for another year. This is all very exciting. The Spy Novel That Ate My Life back in the spring of 2010 came out about a month ago and is getting all sorts of rave reviews from all sorts of real important publications, including The New York Times. I feel like a proud aunt. Everyone should go off and read Code Name Verity. Because it's awesome.
There are things that are easier when you are 10-11 than when you are 30-31 and your parents split up. It's easier when your mom just picks you up out of a house where things have been...off and moves you halfway across the state to a house where everyone feels all at home and together and it's easy. It's easier to pick a side (I don't know why you need to pick a side, but you do) when you are 10 and your dad goes to pieces. (I get along really well with my dad now, but the teenage years were tough.
It's harder when you're 30 and living on your own anyway and the the worst thing that your now-about-to-be-ex-stepdad does is send you badgering text messages about how many days it's been since he last cried, and how much he misses your mom, and tries to apply second hand pop-psychology on various members of your family over GChat until finally you just have to say OH MY GOD I CANNOT HAVE THIS CONVERSATION and block him.
Holidays are still hard. Do you do Thanksgiving with your mom, your stepdad, whom? (My plan, this year, I think, is to go to my aunt and uncle's in Baltimore.) It took ten years, but you finally had how to do Christmas all figured out, and now you have another parent you're supposed to try to see, and, seriously, your mom wants to bring the new guy to Christmas, less than half a year after ending a 20 year relationship? Holidays might be harder as an adult, because at least when you are 12, you aren't actually making the decisions yourself, the grown ups are doing it for you. And it may suck. You may be having such huge ridiculous fights with your father over Christmas that one year you don't go to Christmas, and your brother gets a Nintendo 64 and you get a $50 savings bond. (Yes. That really happened. I said, the teenage years were rough.)
But. The point wasn't actually to talk about Thanksgiving or Christmas. The point is the Fourth of July. Which is in a few minutes. It will probably be the Fourth of July by the time I'm done writing this. The Fourth of July is smack in the middle of my mom and my soon-to-be-ex-stepdad's birthdays, and she claimed it as the "only holiday I really care about, really, I promise" something like fifteen years ago. (She was exagerrating a little, but my dad is the religious one, so while she wanted us for sometime around Christmas, she was okay with him getting us for Christmas Day.) It was our Big Holiday. We cooked things on the grill, and played stupid games where you throw things around the yard (my mom is exceptionally fond of Kubb and Bocce). We would play with sparklers and Connor's potato cannon and then we'd sit in our yard and watch our neighbors set off giant fireworks (seriously, I have no idea where they got these fireworks. There were fireworks that I swear had a diameter of the entire lake. It was like a professional show in our back yard. Every year, the fire department would send out a notice a week before saying "Please, please, don't do it this year" and every year they did it anyway. Their biggest shows were on July 4th, but afterwards, they tended to celebrate days that ended in "y." One year, in an attempt to get a better view of the fireworks that wasn't blocked by trees, we went out in our canoe, but we got yelled at and the next year there was a "NO BOATS DURING THE FIREWORKS" rule enacted.)
And last year, none of us went up on the 4th. We were all going on vacation like two weeks later, and the 4th was a Monday anyway. It was the first time I didn't do the 4th of July with my parents, and it was kind of weird, but it was, well, whatever. I felt kind of like a naughty kid playing hookie, it was fun, and I made sorbet and hung out with Moss and Julia. And then the next day, they told us they were splitting up. So this year feels all weird. I don't feel like a naughty kid playing hookie, not going up to Vermont for the day, I feel all sad and more like a divorce-kid than I have in ages. I don't want to try to recreate my mother's 4th of July celebrations, but I don't know what I do want. WRETCHED HOLIDAY.