Happy Fourth of July. I think I may have enjoyed this day more than Christmas, when I was a child. I’m not really sure why – but I always looked forward to it. Maybe because it’s a sign my birthday is around the corner. Maybe its because I’ve had such memorable fourths.
When I was in 7th, or maybe 8th grade, my mom took us to one of her friend’s lake houses for the Fourth. It was one of the first big, but personal, celebrations I had ever been too. I think of it often when I am holding my own gatherings, as an adult. I got to watch her friends shoot off fireworks from the top of a pontoon boat. It sticks out in my mind because I thought the whole thing was just so FUN. Then? We all camped out in her friends yard since he lived so far out of town.
The Summer of the Great Western Tour (GWT) held a great Fourth as well. The GWT (my Dad gave it that name) was the trip my dad took us on around the country. Camping for thirty plus days at all of our nations finest national parks. I have no idea how much it was planned, but we ended up at Mt. Rushmore for the Fourth of July. Watching the fireworks at one of our most popular landmarks was amazing.
There have been several other memorable Fourths. The one two days after LilZoot’s first (and only) Grateful Dead show. The one where the barge with the fireworks exploded on the TN River causing one HUGE fireworks show lasting about 1.2 minutes. I’ve always enjoyed this day as a time to relax with friends and family. This year – will be no different. I’ll still get choked up when I hear “Proud to Be An American” like I do every year (Yes, the Lee Greenwood song, shut it). I’ll stand in awe under the fireworks while, for that moment, I feel six-years-old again. I’ll eat hot dogs and I’ll drink beer. I’ll probably even don my Tinkerbell USA shirt.
LilZoot and I speak often about the responsibilities and the privilege of living in a country where we enjoy so many freedoms. Even though I feel like we are watching some of our freedoms fade away. Kim of 2020 would love to know what Kim of 2004 was alluding to here. I often wonder if LilZoot will grow up with a different since of “freedom” than I did. I am always preaching about our freedoms to LilZoot. The only difference about it today? I’m wearing Red, White and Blue while I’m doing it. And possibly have BBQ sauce dripping down my chin.