Monday, July 4, 2011
Family and Fireworks
Today is July 4th, which of course in the United States is when we celebrate Independence Day. For most Americans this means thoughts of patriotism and freedom. It also usually means thoughts of picnics, parades, and fireworks. It's tradition, and it's wonderful.
Unfortunately, in my part of the country, summertime - and summer holidays - are a little different. (We've been under an Excessive Heat Warning for the past several days.) When the temperature rises above 115, or even 110 for that matter, playing outside is not on the top of anyone's list. It's dangerous. And frankly, it's just plain miserable.
There was a time when not getting to celebrate today "the traditional way" would have really bothered me. But thankfully as I've gotten older I've also mellowed, and I've learned to be much more flexible with things. Holidays have become less about what exactly I'm doing, and more about who I'm doing it with. I even learned that when we celebrate isn't critical, which was a big thing for me. (This year Mother's Day was right before finals, so we celebrated a few days later. A couple of years ago we had "Mocks-giving" in early December, because I had strep throat on Thanksgiving. Everything still tasted just as good.)
So today we adapted, just like we've done in the past. Our "picnic" was inside, but the hot dogs and hamburgers were still yummy. We didn't get to go out and watch a parade, but my kids did watch several episodes of School House Rock, and enjoyed a healthy dose of patriotism. And we watched fireworks on TV, from the comfort of our living room. I know it's not exactly the same as seeing them live, but they're still pretty. We were safe, we were together, and we were happy. That's really all I need from a holiday.