I got a package in the mail today from my mom. I opened it and it's a super cute apron made from red, white and blue 4th of July fabric. It was just an apron but it felt like a little piece of home as soon as I saw it and I can't stop looking at it and smiling.
I always get really homesick around the 4th of July every year. I LOVED July fourth growing up. It was one of my very favorite days of the year. We did the same thing every single year. My dad would get up at the crack of dawn and drive downtown to save us the same spot along the parade route. I loved the 4th of July parade in our town. I grew up in a fairly small town and we had a typical small town fouth of July parade. High School marching bands, floats from local churches and businesses, ect. We always sat in the same spot and watched the same parade every fourth of July that I can remember. I loved it.
In the afternoon we would go on a picnic or do some fun family activity and then in the evening there would be an awesome fireworks display over the river and then we would come home and do more fireworks in our backyard where my sister and I would huddle on the back porch and worry that my dad was going to start the yard on fire, lol. It was literally the exact same thing every single year. There was something comforting about the fact that life never changed much when I was growing up. I loved it.
Then I grew up, my dad passed away, my mom got remarried, I moved away from my hometown and everything is different now. I guess when I was growing up I thought that somehow things were going to stay the same forever. I couldn't imagine that there would be a day when I wouldn't be sitting on that curb watching the fourth of July parade with my dad. Obviously that is silly and unrealistic but it still threw me for a loop the first year that the fourth of July changed and I wasn't in my hometown, sitting on that curb with my dad watching the parade and looking forward to the fireworks. To this day I still ache for home every fourth of July. I get incredibly homesick on the fourth of July. We do our own fun family activities on the fourth, and I love spending that time with my husband and kids, but every year I have that same twinge of sadness when I think of how much I miss my dad and my hometown and my family the way it used to be before everything changed. My family has become much more complicated in recent years. Even when we get together, which isn't often, nothing is the same anymore and it's something I really struggle with.
So today I opened the package and out fell that apron. Homemade aprons remind me of my mom and my grandma and they remind me of home. I think I'm just extra hormonal today but I just wanted to wrap myself up in that apron and be transported back to my childhood. I've been sitting here looking at it and folding and unfolding it since it came. It feels like home to me. I'm grateful that my mom thought to send it to me. My mom loves to sew and probably made several aprons to give to her kids. It wasn't a particularly significant gift but it today it feels significant to me. Today it was a cure for the homesickness that I know is coming up as we get closer to the fourth. When I feel a little sad on the fouth and think of home I'll put my apron on, fire up the grill in the backyard and feel grateful for the wonderful memories I have of my childhood and for the opportunities I have to make new memories with my kids.