You would think that Christmas was on the 4th of July if you saw my children on the morning of Independence Day. This is really one of their very favorite holidays. I'm not sure they really care about the nation's birthday or our independence from British rule. It's all about the fireworks. It seems so unfair that they have to wait until dark, but then, it makes for a grand finale to the day.
This year was a little bit different because my cousin was visiting from Texas. After a nice breakfast of bagels, muffins and varieties of Starbucks, followed by a significant amount of lolling around my parents' house, we finally packed up some food and headed to a local winery for a picnic.Unfortunately, Daddy was feeling particularly ill, so I drove him home before we left on our adventures.The rest of us had a lovely, if slightly too warm, time at the winery. My cousin's husband treated us to a bottle of rosé and we took a short walk to "the pond". Mam was sporting her Independence Day best. And Smunch (pictured here with my cousin) was looking pretty festive too. At this time of year, the pond is little more than a few large puddles among the reeds. It turns out that the reeds were alive with tiny little frogs, each about the size of a thumbnail. I loved watching them jump around. They were fast and hard to photograph, so this is the best I did.And, like all good ponds, there were a couple of mother ducks overseeing a group of teenager-y ducklings. They looked so picturesque among the reeds and the pond weeds that were blooming with pink flowers.We also spotted this cool, red dragonfly.We walked back to the car and parted ways to get ready for the neighborhood block party on our street. Our block party is a really fun, yearly event where we all set up tables in the middle of the street, barbeque, make ice cream and supply potluck dishes to share. Both my parents and my cousins joined us for a mellow evening of food and company. I didn't bring my camera. Just as well. I could barely roll my own bloated body home, much less anything additional.
My cousin and her husband decided to forgo the fireworks, instead watching them on TV while the rest of the family headed to our oldest fireworks-viewing haunt to wait for the pyrotechnics to start.
Turns out, as the kids get older, this whole thing gets much easier and more tolerable. They happily played several hands of Uno with us, begging for another one as soon as the last one was done.As has been the case for the last couple of years, there were glowsticks, but we didn't use so many this year with all that card playing.I don't remember exactly what was going on when I took this picture. I just liked the backlighting on Mam's hair. It cracks me up though.Finally, the show started. I'd forgotten how rewarding it is to drag the kids out to the park. They have such a great time watching fireworks, commenting, squealing, exclaiming over their favorites. I annoyed people by trying to capture their reaction. This isn't a great photo, but I think it captured them rather well.We all had a really nice time, well worth the crabby Smunch we had this morning. I don't think I'll tell them they'll get to see plenty of fireworks at Disney World this summer. I can't wait to see the look on their faces when they just start exploding overhead.