I find it somewhat odd that the 4th of July has become one of my favorite holidays. I’m just going to leave you to take that remark as you will because at the moment I have no desire to go into a long discourse on patriotism and political views.
It’s one of those fair few holidays where our traditions just seemed to fall into place without my having to will it to be so.
We celebrate the same way every year; naps for all of the children in the late afternoon (this part didn’t go off as well this year as it has in years past) while Mama and Daddy prepare the snacks, then dinner before heading off to the prefect little spot for viewing fireworks.
We always arrive well before sunset, bringing Frisbees and balls or whatever sports equipment is en vogue with the kids that year, to while away the twilight.
Some years we’ve brought friends. This year my sister joined us (that’s her at bat in the photo below). Most years it’s just us.
Once it gets to dark to see the ball anymore, we all huddle together on a blanket in the grass. Snacks are passed around. This year it was a big pot of popcorn (this is a must, every year), roasted chickpeas, toasted pumpkin seeds, yellow watermelon, cherries, lime-aid, peppermint iced tea…
And then the show starts. If we are lucky there will be a breeze to keep the mosquitoes away. Some years we need to fetch extra blankets and sweaters from the car. Many years there has been the worry of how a baby or small child will react to all the flashing and noise, but so far we’ve not had a problem. I think it helps to have them surrounded by other people who are relaxed and enjoying themselves. To see a sibling’s delight and feel a parents embrace and know that they are safe. I think it’s always easier to go out into the world and explore new things that way.
Each year is the same in many ways and yet unique. This was the year of baseball. The year with Aunt Rachel. The year that a firework caught Màiri’s eye for the first time ever. The year that Galen was determined to go chasing after the fireworks with plans to playfully slap them from the sky like a bubble, while we all laughed and made feeble attempts at explaining why that wasn’t possible.