We have journeyed north for the Fourth of July since....well before we had kids. It has become a tradition for our family and I LOVE IT. I love getting away from the "to do list" at home during this three day weekend. I love knowing that the parade is going to fill my boys with smiles and their candy bags with treats. I love that the fireworks outing means Lake Superior in the background, a giant waffle cone, and my boys having the choice of their little lawn chair, mom and dad's lap, or Grandma's lap.
When this holiday rolls around friends discuss their holiday plans and those staying in our area never can clearly tell me their plans. They will see some fireworks, and find a parade. I ABSOLUTELY appreciate knowing what we will expect, where we like to sit, what time we need to leave so that I can get the flavor ice cream I have been dreaming about all day.
Our up north Fourth of July weekend always includes BERRIES...bowls and bowls of freshly picked strawberries. Grandma's pancakes and sausage wake us in the morning. And a heaping pile of strawberry shortcake finishes off the busy days.
I worry often that I am not establishing traditions that my boys will look back at or remember from year to year and think...."Mama, Aren't we going to___?" with anticipation and excitement in their voice. But then this holiday rolls around and I realize that traditions come throughout the year and the Fourth of July has been a tradition that began with college friends traveling on the ferry to Madeline Island for a wild night of fun and has turned into sitting with my boys watching their thrill and joy participating in the fire run (when all the fire trucks make a run around town with their sirens) before the fireworks begin.
This morning I was woken by Henry holding his parade candy bag in my face. He decorated it with American Flag stickers. The smell of bacon in the air and the North Woods trees blowing soothingly outside the windows.
From our family to yours....we hope you find time today to stop puttering in the garage or mowing the lawn to find some stolen moments of family time to celebrate the freedom that our country has earned and continues to maintain through the hard work and commitment of many young soldiers. My sister's friend Melissa has been living the life of a military wife for the last many, many months and her soldier husband just returned home. I can only imagine the meaning this holiday has for them. My cousin's military husband is leaving for several months of service. The sacrifice that these woman and families make are unimaginable to me, the everyday mom, who has the nerve to complain when my husband runs a little late for dinner.
Happy Fourth of July! I hope your parade experience brings a box of Dots candy to your lap...mine does!