Not the most exciting Fourth of July I’ve ever had, but a nice one nonetheless, and the kids’ first. After being hot and muggy for probably the last two weeks, it suddenly turned cool and cloudy in the Boston area. We spent lunchtime at a fellow twin mom (and HDYDI contributor)’s house. Lounging outside might have been nice, but just not in the cards today. Anyways, two sets of twins, four months apart, is always a good time. Evening included a BBQ at the lovely Mommy, Esq‘s house. A big thanks to her for inviting us, sight unseen as it were, to her festivities, and a shout-out to her friends who were super nice (even if Daniel decided to suddenly develop stranger anxiety) and made me feel like a local celebrity because they apparently all read my blog. Hi, guys! Sorry we couldn’t stay for the actual dinner, bedtime is respected or there is major hell to pay in my house. 🙂
And so, it’s 7:30, the kids are in bed, and we are just hanging out for the rest of the evening. Probably watching the Boston Pops on TV as we have for the last many years, because the thought of being in the crowds at the Esplanade is just too much to bear. It hasn’t really bothered me to have a low-key 4th for the last little while, but now that I have kids, I find I’m missing the Fourth of July that I remember as a kid. Something more akin to what Tracey had in her neighborhood earlier today.
First, we’d always painstakingly decorate our bikes with streamers a day or so beforehand. Coming off the handlebars, wrapped carefully around the frame, threaded in the spokes. In the morning, I couldn’t wait for it to be time to ride over to my elementary school for the races and games they always had. Mother-daughter 3-legged race, potato sack race, watermelon eating contest, the works. From 4 and 5 year olds all the way up to an egg-and-spoon relay for the adults, I was so proud if I managed to win a ribbon (3-legged-race was my specialty, I never fell down). Later in the afternoon, my town had a big parade. Neighborhoods would work on their floats for weeks, local politicians and organizations would be there, marching bands and the crazy kazoo band, and of course the fire trucks. At night, we’d all head to the lakefront for fireworks, and they put on a darn good show. I think in later years there was even a musical component to the fireworks.
Not so much out here. Oh sure, I think some towns have fireworks shows. And maybe there are other activities that I just don’t yet know about. But there definitely isn’t the same neighborhood feeling as there was when (and where) I grew up. Krissy talked on HDYDI the other day about making memories with your kids, and 4th of July is a fond one from my own childhood. Maybe my kids will have something similar (like if we move back to Chicago), or maybe it will just be something else and this day will not be one of the big ones. But that’s the one I’m nostalgic for today.
Happy 4th, everyone. And if you’re listening to the 1812 Overture, may it be a version with real cannons, just like they have on the Esplanade tonight. It’s the only way to go.