I am strangely enchanted by the 4th of July. I say”strangely”, since I’m not an American citizen and so I don’t have a huge emotional connection the idea of Independence Day. I’ve surmised before that perhaps I love it so because it is the only major holiday that falls when the weather is good. I don’t know. I just love getting together with friends on a hot summer’s day (and evening) enjoying a sense of community and having a good time. Ironically, I think I enjoy it so much because it reminds me of my childhood in South Africa where most of the major holidays (Christmas, New Year…) fall in the height of Summer, and so it feels especially celebratory-familiar to me.
This year fireworks for our town fell on the 3rd, (which makes perfect sense because you can enjoy your late night without the worry of an early start for work in the morning,) but it did take some adjustment in our expectations for the 4th. We were concerned that it would feel really anti-climatic but ended up having an awesome day even if it was a little more low-key than usual.
Perhaps even better than the fireworks display is the hour or so prior to them, spent hanging out with friends in our traditional spot on a hill at the university. The kids run around with glow sticks and soccer balls, the parents chat and it there is just a generally delightful spirit of community. It’s at times like these that I am satisfied that my kids are having a great childhood with plenty of fun memories.
(Benj has taken to pulling..interesting..faces whenever the camera is pointed his way, I am hoping it is a short-lived phase. *Spot the iphone pics )
Then it was time for the red, white and boom…
(Ella had mixed feelings about the whole affair but in the end, tiredness prevailed and she was most dismayed at being kept from her bed in such a very loud and obnoxious manner)…
The moon was not to be outdone by the pyrotechnics..
The next day Aaron and I celebrated our freedom from our horrible diet (which we, after much painful deliberation decided to move into phase 2 of, a few days early) and very carefully enjoyed a normal-ish meal with the very patriotically attired Richardsons….(nothing says “happy 4th of July!” like a Union Jack and Barcelona soccer jersey)
By the way, I obviously hate myself and the concept of being slender, because I assembled this diet kryptonite in honour of the day (have I mentioned my obsession with angel food cake before?)
The kids then took to setting off “mentos and coke” bombs whilst the rest of us looked on from a safe and skeptical distance
After we had hosed them off we spent the remainder of the sweltering day chilling at at the pool with friends. (I love that Finny will still hang onto me in public ) This photo incidentally, was taken prior to a near-drowning experience after I unwisely challenged Benj to a water fight. (The victim was me, I think I swallowed at least 3 gallons of water in the attempt).
Little Miss E was in her element. (Literally).
These pictures make her look so big, but surprisingly, they make my heart sing. Whenever I pictured Gracie having a little sister, it was scenes like these that came to mind. You can tell how much Ella loves being a “big girl” and Gracie is just the best big sister to a little girl. I love it.
A little hair braiding…
There is still nobody who can make her laugh like Finny can though.
That evening after we were saturated with sun, fun and water we ended the day with sparklers. We tried to make words….heck even a reasonable facsimile of letters would do….
A brave attempt. (We will read up on how to do it before next year…still wondering how that “A” managed to end up upside down).
The 4th always signals the peak of Summer for me…I start to feel as though we need to start fitting in as much as possible from now on. It’s been a good one so far, but so much more on the “bucket” list still to do….