The other day I filled out an old questionnaire thing I found about my favorites. I said I didn’t have a favorite holiday. I am now updating it to say that Independence Day is my favorite.
Oh man, y’all. Saturday was like the happiest day of my life. We put our son in a red, white & blue striped shirt he had and our baby girl in the scrappy, patriotic pillowcase dress I made her. I packed up a PB&J lunch and we headed out for the morning. We prepped our kid in advance and told him all about how fun a day it was going to be so he made it a super fun dang day.
We parked our van (I love our van like crazy with children but I still feel so so lame every time I say/type “our van”) on a side road far from the action and loaded the babies into the double stroller. He pointed out dogs and vehicles and bicyclists and shouted “WOWWWW!” over and over again, with the biggest smile on his face.
Before we even made it to the park Ryan and I were cracking up saying we didn’t even have to do anything else and this would be his best day ever.
We got to the downtown park and played outside for a while. Ryan took him to the swings, I helped him climb up to the top of the playground to wave at Daddy and baby sister, Ryan took him to the water. Then we checked out the food trucks (Oh boy. I feel so terrible but we definitely gained like nine pounds apiece. So many new-to-us gluten free options! We all shared a berries & cream crepe for a snack, Ryan had a Reese’s peanut butter cup coffee drink, and then Ryan & I shared an Italian sausage/peppers/onion bowl for lunch) and the baby fell asleep in the stroller as we slowly made our way back to the van (so lame) while watching the parade.
The firetrucks! The horses! The tiny American flag someone handed him to wave! His eyes were so lit up the whole time and he just seemed like nothing could get him down. Everyone stood to clap as our town's veterans rode by and he joined in, clapping and screaming "YAYYYYYYY!"
And then Ryan lifted him up so he could see more and my heart just burst into a million lovey pieces when he rested his paw on Ryan’s back.
(I know I said he was wearing something different earlier, but he got himself all wet playing so I changed him into his spare outfit for comfort)
We finished up a beautiful day and then Ryan and I spent the rest of the evening hanging out. We couldn’t help but reminisce about 4th of Julys past. Ryan has fond memories of swimming and playing basketball at the gym with his cousins and then running outside to find their parents’ spot and watch the fireworks together. He remembers barbecue at his aunt & uncle’s house and a day of general fun.
I remember swimming and eating BBQ at my grandparents’ house, and later enjoying big family campouts with my dad’s family. Good food, chatting with friends and family, Catch Phrase and Taboo, archery practice, a quad ride out to the fireworks and hide-and-seek in the dark with my brother and cousins.
One year my cousin Sabrina and I slept in the bed of my truck because I was on an I-only-camp-under-the-stars kick. My grandpa covered us with a tarp in case it rained again that night, and every time one of us would move the other would wake up to the sound of the tarp crackling around us. Early in the morning I wanted to get up and go to the bathroom but I was a tiny bit stuck. Sabrina woke up and said in a polude tone (pretending to be polite but really no one is anything but rude at that hour) “Hi, good morning, WHAT are you doing?”
Around 11pm, our little guy randomly woke up. He got out of bed and came out to the living room, probably a little afraid of the booms he kept hearing. We greeted him warmly and then held him up to the window so he could see the fireworks our neighbors were lighting. He whispered a tired but awe-filled "Wow!" a few times before I took him back to his bed and climbed into my own for the night.
Even though the 4th of July is in the hot heat of summer, I forgive it. And I love it. It’s definitely my favorite holiday and I hope our children have a lot of fond memories of it someday too.
I hope you had a lovely Independence Day! And I hope you have a lovely week too. =]