The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.
During my first year with Stephanie, one change that took a particularly long time to get used to was the divvying up of holiday time. For the first time in my life I was faced with the problem my parents and lot of other older relatives had been dealing with for ages. When the Fourth of July comes around, who do you spend it with?
To the best of my knowledge, we spent some amount of time, probably in the morning at the annual Chelmsford parade, with my parents. From there, whether it was on days preceding or immediately following, we also spent time with Angela and her family at an evening gathering in Haverhill, where the fireworks were so loud they set off car alarms across the city, and we spent some time with Stef’s great-grandparents Mamie & Bampie up at their place in South Berwick, Maine.
The thing about the Fourth of July for me was that I had always gone to the parade in Chelmsford, for as long as I had lived, and doing anything different was just out of the realm of possibility for me. I recall when Stef started talking about going other places, hanging out with other people, doing other things… I recall when all that talk started to happen, that I didn’t take it too well.
Alas, splitting the holidays between families and groups of friends was just the way it went and I would have to get used to it.