It’s the Fourth of July. My wife and I look up, awestruck at the production. It’s majestic and grand, no doubt, but also uniquely personal, like we’re the only two people who truly feel the magnitude of each boom.
“If the Cubs ever win the World Series,” I say, tears welling up in my 32 year-old eyes, “I think it will feel just like this.”
With one hand still gripping my son’s midsection, I raise the other over my head in a fist and pump it in appreciation, because here, in my uncle’s bathroom, amidst the sounds of a mid-afternoon pool party, my two-year-old son has finally pooped in the potty.
Independence Day, indeed.
Aside from working as a bouncer at a college bar, parenting may be the only opportunity to look someone square in the eye as they shit their pants while you physically remove them from a party. But as a parent, you have to let the belligerent patron back into the party, and repeat the exercise several times a day, for several consecutive days.
There are countless joys associated with parenthood. The long and winding road of potty training is not one of them, but receiving an emotional shot in the arm from seemingly trivial things certainly is.
There are times I miss the ways we used to celebrate Independence Day. Pleading with a toddler to use the toilet at a friend’s house while people swim and grill and drink and laugh is a sobering experience. But there is no buzz like watching your child’s eyes light up as they figure out something that has eluded them.
Yes, I felt like a psycho walking around the house clapping intermittently until the adrenaline of a two-year-old pooping somewhere other than his pants or the bathtub wore off. But, hey, that’s the game.
If there is one thing Cubs fans and parents know, it’s that even when life isn’t sexy, you can have a lot of fun celebrating the little shit.