So I have a confession to make.  And perhaps it might make me seem un-American, un-patriotic, or just weird... I am not a huge fan of the fourth of July.

With the exception of some of the larger cities (Boston, New York, etc), I believe once you've seen fireworks, you've seen them all.  I fully understand the meaning behind the day and why we celebrate it.  I appreciate our independence and share my thanks every year.  But I'm not one to plan a bunch of festivities or want to make a huge fuss about it otherwise.

I remember being a kid and getting excited about sparklers around this time of year.  Oh, and the big packs of miscellaneous "safe" firework fun anyone could pick up off the shelves at the store.  Like those snake things -- remember those?  Do those even still exist?  And those popper things you just threw at the ground and they popped really loudly.  I equate the fourth of July with being a summer activity and being out of school.  Being that I have been out of the last of my schooling for almost 10 years, it has completely lost its mystification.  

Enter becoming a parent.

My son is finally at an age where I am comfortable with him holding sparklers -- and I say that very lightly.  If you have never met my son, he is 150% boy, wild fire crazy with a level of energy I'm fairly confident if I could find a way to bottle it up I could sell on the black market and be set for a lifetime.  But, he is 4 -- almost 5 -- so I am okay letting him hold his own sparkler.  

I was taken back to that time of being a child, where I was excited about what this holiday equated to -- being out of school, playing with fire and other things that I couldn't any other day of the year... just enjoying something different.

Not to mention, my kiddo LOVES fireworks.  And so does his dad -- still at 32 years old, he loves the fourth of July, the family and friend festivities and everything this holiday brings typically.  Also, on a side note, I totally learned where my son gets his focusing facial expressions after I started looking at these pictures.  :)

I remembered that just because I don't enjoy something doesn't mean I can't participate for my son... and my husband.  It's not necessarily about what the holiday brings, but instead it's a reason that we as a society have deemed as a opportunity given to some to have time away from their jobs and normal daily life and can spend time with family -- eating yummy food, playing with sparklers and watching fireworks.

So, this year, I'm going to allow myself to be happy to be with my family and focus on that as opposed to the day item.

All of that said to say... Let freedom ring, Happy Independence Day!  We truly are blessed to be free!

Amber Pond