I’ve noticed several posts this week in the blogosphere about creating family traditions around the 4th of July. I honestly hadn’t thought much about it as the 4th approached. It’s been a bit of a weird week here at Chez High Heeled Mama and Independence Day somewhat snuck up on me.
But I do remember, fondly, the Fourths of my childhood. They were typically spent in one of a few locations:
- There were the years we were home as a nuclear family in NC watching the fireworks set-off from the parking deck at South Square Mall. A group from the neighborhood would gather at the KMart parking lot across the street from the launch point. There were always popsicles and I’m sure some adult beverages were involved for the parents. One of the neighborhood dads had a rule about reactions and we would follow his lead as to whether a particular pop deserved an “oh,” “ah,” or “ooooo.”
- Other years we would be at Grandma and Grandpa’s house in RI. Fourths here involved clam boils, cream puffs, Aunt F’s chocolate cake, tubing on the pond, root beer, hide and seek with the cousins and later, watching my older cousin’s tipsy friends paddle the row boat into the rocks to attempt to set-off fireworks in situations that I now wonder how these guys managed to keep all their digits.
- Later years we would be at “Camp Massachusetts” with Aunt P and Uncle M hosting the family gathering pool side with barbecued chicken, steak tips, the best potato salad, corn fresh from the farm stand, Aunt F’s chocolate cake (because there isn’t a family gathering without one), and THE apple-raspberry pie with a generous scoop of Grey’s coffee ice cream. We’d watch the Boston Pops on television for our fireworks fix with our hair still damp from the pool and a second dessert in hand.
The last few years, I was hugely pregnant or with an 11 month old and didn’t really think much of it. Last night, though, it was a bit sad to watch the Boston Pops on CBS’s tape delay…but really, no other fireworks display will due. I mean, come on, “Stars and Stripes Forever”…this recovering flute player can’t get enough of that piccolo solo. We did, however, a few things over the week to make the 4th our own:
- We made apple-raspberry pie with the peanut:
- We went to a cookout yesterday and watched (like a train wreck you don’t want to see but can’t stop staring at) the hot dog eating contest on ESPN (a five dog eat-off? Ick!).
- We managed to keep peanut somewhat occupied this morning so we could catch the women’s Wimbledon final (a tradition the hubby and I developed together during our many 4th of Julys together). And now that we were spoiled by some good tennis and good toddler behavior this morning, we’ll hedge our bets and try to watch the men’s final tomorrow. Hopefully peanut will be content to color, play with his blocks and generally stay in one room for the duration. Fingers crossed.
- We’ll grill out as a family together on Sunday afternoon to keep the festivities going.
- And, maybe if we’re lucky, we’ll dance around with just our shoes on: