What a difference a year makes…
4th of July, 2010. J and I (and the kids) went camping with some friends of mine. It was our first time camping as a family (lame, I know). The whole time, J was being antisocial, hanging out only at our campsite and not around my friends. We had brought our two dogs with us, so his excuse was that he had to stay with them. He was also drinking…a lot. The fireworks were down on the river about 10 minutes from where we were camping. On the way down there, J and I were fighting because he had put off a quiz for school and was going to try to take it while watching fireworks. At this point, he was also thoroughly trashed and at the ASSHOLE stage. Wi-fi wouldn’t work where we were sitting and so that pissed him off that he couldn’t take his quiz. By the time the fireworks started, I was getting pissed because he was making an ass out of himself and he was being a complete dick. I can remember sitting there, in the dark, with the fireworks going off above us. He was inches from my face, saying over and over again. “What the fuck is wrong? Why are you so pissed at me? What did I do?” It got to the point where I punched him in the face to get him away from me. Tears were streaming down my face. We fought all the way back to the truck. When we got to the truck, he wouldn’t give me the keys. I was not letting him drive me or the kids back to the campsite. He absolutely refused to give me the keys. So I called the cops on him. At that point, he threw the keys at me and we went back to the campsite. The scene at the campsite was horrible. The kids were crying. J was out of control. He got so pissed he punched the mirror of the truck and shattered it. He got blood all over the tent. I tried calling my little brother to see if he could come get me and the kids, but he wasn’t around. So we stayed the night there. It was one of the worst nights ever.
4th of July, 2011. As we were sitting on the grass with our picnic dinner, waiting for the fireworks to start, I was in awe about the stark difference between this year and last. We packed sandwiches, strawberries, a blanket, lawn chairs, and the dog (only one this year!). We arrived a couple of hours early and just hung out until the fireworks started. It was a relaxing time…one for the memory bank. The kids had fun. No drama.
I can only hope that next year is as good, or even better.