As I am writing this, it’s the day after the fourth of July. 11:08 am to be exact. Most people had BBQ with family, spent the day on a boat, maybe even just watched fireworks from their neighborhood. For our family, the fourth of July is always a bit different due to my husband being a USMC musician. The band was part of this massive celebration out in Escondido this year that was supposed to have THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of people - which I was immediately repelled by. For me, it isn’t even about not liking big crowds; it’s more so about rational/irrational fears. For example I used to be terrified to fly , not because of take-off or landing, but because I get paranoid about plane crashes, terrorism and the like. My fear of this large patriotic event is quite similar. With human trafficking, the divide and anger that a lot of people feel in our country right now, and the rando rogue radicals (like the one that attacked a Jewish temple in Poway not long ago) -I was paranoid and anxious to attend by myself with my two kiddos.
But here is the thing. Adrienne Houghton shared a video talking about her fears just a few days ago. She too is terrified of flying, but she shared how her mother told her that she cannot be consumed by it because it will snow ball from planes, to trains, then cars and before you know it - you are hiding inside of your home afraid to go outside. That is definitely not what I want, and I also wanted to be mindful of the example and message I was sending to my children.
So despite feeling the fear, I did it anyway. We went, set up camp near the stage and didn’t really venture back towards all the other events and vendors; which ended up being great because we were in the perfect spot for all the live bands - including the USMC band. Not to mention - the firework display.
While I was on the lawn with my sons and another military spouse that saw us and came to sit with us, and we were watching the band play all these wonderful songs, I was so grateful I attended.
After their show ended, the lights went off, Shawn made his way to find us in the crowd, full uniform and instrument in hand, and we watched the most wonderful firework show I think I had ever seen. But the best part was seeing the joy on my kids faces; both from the music and fireworks show, but from having their Dad with them and the pride they felt.
The night wrapped up, we made it home safe and sound, and the kids even slept in quite a while in the morning.
I am so grateful that I decided to feel the fear and make a choice to do something anyway - because that was something I would have been so sad to have missed.