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Fireworks, Freedom, and Fivestar

By: Dena Walden

Ahh, Fourth of July… The whole ambience that we as citizens of this great nation love to revel in when the ultimate, red-blooded American holiday rolls around, and we make sure to continue our stake to freedom by enjoying all the festivities, food, family, friends, and fun that one can allow. We don our most patriotic garb and countdown the minutes until the night sky is fully ablaze with the gleam of pyrotechnics that many amateur dare devils send flying into the air while hearing Lee Greenwood blasting in the background.

You’ve seen it, experienced it, and for the most part enjoyed it. However, during this time there is a slow transition happening around us that many don’t realize until the last sparkler has burned its fuse. The very week that we celebrate the official holiday of summer the local stores are filling up with the things that many parents are thrilled to see stockpiling the shelves, school supplies. For a few kids, that means the idea of independence is very far fetched and heading back to school is right around the corner. I recently saw a post on Facebook by author Rebecca Cooper which read, “Every time you light a firework, another backpack gets hung at Target.” I’ll be honest, this made me giggle. As much as teachers and students love to see summer get here, it’s over just as fast as those Roman candles that you buy from the pop up stand in the Walmart parking lot burn out. I must say that with the idea of school being right on our heels, I am one of those who does get excited at the mere thought of not only new beginnings for myself but for my own children, too. Not to mention, as a mama of five I learned quickly God didn’t create me to be a stay at home mom. My oldest three forgot their school appetites apparently because not only did my gas bill go up, but the grocery bill did as well. There’s been more messes to clean and more laundry to wash. Now before some of you experienced mothers feel the need to mom shame me for not enjoying these days and feeling as though I am completely letting these moments pass me by while not finding joy in the chaos, please let me explain. My anxiety gets anxiety when my house is a wreck. I will miss the hands being so little, but I won’t miss the mess the little hands made. My family thrives more when we are on a routine. When we know what we are doing Monday through Friday, our ship sails a little smoother. I know that when our school year begins, there will be days that may be a little more hectic than others and down time will be needed. However, I love to see my kids reunited with their friends, playing sports, taking dance, cheering on their teams, and taking every moment to be a kid. So when you walk into Walmart or Target and you see those Fivestar notebooks, crayons, and pencils lining the shelves (By the way, your child’s teacher will absolutely adore you if you buy the Crayola and Ticonderoga brands), smile because somewhere around you is a kid who can’t wait to see who his teacher will be and a mama who can breathe a little easier knowing that a sense of normalcy has returned.

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