Normally, I’m not actually a very big fan of The 4th of July. *Gasp* Maybe I’m being cynical, but it seems kind of like Easter and Halloween – one of those holidays that’s super fun when you’re little…and then hits a low point for a while until you have kids of your own and can enjoy it with them again. Otherwise, it seems to me like the real meaning behind the holiday has been entirely shoved aside in favor of drunken BBQs – not that I don’t enjoy a good drunken BBQ every now and then of course – but I tend to find them more enjoyable when they don’t also involve fire and explosives.
Or maybe it’s just that I haven’t had very good experiences on the 4th.
One year, when I was five, the neighbors across the street bought some illegal fireworks. They weren’t the giant ones like the ones that get set off by the city, but they were definitely more firepower than is legal in Oregon. Our entire neighborhood went out to enjoy the show, when a burned up firework shell fell back down from the sky and somehow managed to drop directly down the back of my shirt, burning the heck out of me in the process.
Flash forward about 10 years later, and my boyfriend, his sister, and I decide to head down to the local school playground to set our fireworks off on the blacktop. Right before we’re about to leave, several of my boyfriend’s friends showed up and decided they were going to tag along. Already displeased to have our night bombed by a couple 16 year old boys I did not get along with, I don’t think I really have to tell you how I reacted when one such boy threw a Ground Bloom first directly towards another group of people, almost setting them on fire – THEN threw another directly into the dry soccer field grass where he DID start a fire, that we managed to put out with our water bottles – and finally, a third, straight up into the air so that it barely missed setting my hair on fire on its way back down. Basically, I turned into a howler monkey who only knew expletives.
Obviously not every 4th of July has been traumatic, or has involved narrowly avoiding serious injury, but it’s certainly happened enough times to leave me warily anticipating this year.
Luckily though, this year should actually be fun! *Knocks on wood*. First of all, like I said in my previous post, my little brother is in town for the summer. Second of all, this year breaks the lull between celebrating as a child, and having a child to celebrate with! Our older brother, his wife, and their one-year-old son are visiting for the week. I can’t wait to experience my nephew’s first real 4th of July with him! He was only a few months old last year, so this will be the first year he’ll really understand what’s going on and get to “participate” :P
Also, this year has been a year of intense growth and change for myself, personally. Instead of forgetting the meaning of the holiday, I’m looking forward to celebrating not just the birth of my country but also the spirit of independence and freedom it was founded on, in my own life.
So I hope you all have Happy 4th Of July, and celebrate not just the good BBQ weather, but also your freedom and ability to BBQ in good weather! Have fun and be safe!!
Do you have any traumatizing 4th of July stories? What is your favorite part of the celebration?