When I was growing up, Fourth of July was a huge event. My parents hosted a party every year, with swimming and a barbecue, complete with hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, corn on the cob, watermelon, and chocolate cake. After dinner we walked to the local park to ooh and aah over the fireworks. We couldn’t wait to get home, because my dad would give us sparklers. We wrote our names in the night sky with the glow of the glittering light.
Childhood memories I will always remember.
My husband and I carried on my family’s July 4th tradition. Year after year, family and friends congregated in our backyard for swimming and a spread of delicious summer food. Kids splashed and squealed in the pool, perfecting their cannon balls and playing Marco Polo. Our dog ran back and forth along the deck, barking, waiting for someone to throw him the ball.
I’ll never forget the sounds, smells, and tastes from those days.
Our daughters are now in their early twenties. Yesterday they had their own plans for Independence Day. It’s bittersweet. We didn’t host a party this year, and yes, I missed it. But life goes on and we all change. There’s beauty in that, too.
My husband and I had an amazing weekend together. We reminisced but didn’t dwell on what used to be. We had a new adventure. We visited a beach town we love, watched a community parade, took a long walk along the shore, and tried out a new restaurant. We relaxed.
It was much different than the hectic time before a party. We didn’t have to worry about cleaning the backyard, buying dozens of hot dogs, hamburger buns, and corn. My husband didn’t need to make sure the pool was picture perfect and we didn’t have to clean all the patio furniture.
But I missed everyone filling our home with laughter. I longed for the past, when the girls would blow up red, white, and blue balloons and tape them on our mailbox. I missed streamers hanging in the kitchen window and American flags waving in the grass.
I’m sure we’ll host another Fourth of July party. It won’t be the same. But that’s okay. There are still so many memories to be made.
My husband was more than happy to relax this weekend. You know what he said about not having a party? “Freedom!”
Of course he was joking. I think.
First image courtesy of here
Second image courtesy of here