The Fourth of July is my daughter Laura's favorite holiday. I think this is because...
(a) It is very close to mid-summer,
(b) School is finally, really and truly over for the year, even in New York, and
(c) It is generally very low-key. As in, Laura's mother is not stressed out.
Yesterday we had a lovely day.
Shawn and I are still jet-lagged from our big trip to the southwest. And the kids are all kids, albeit big kids. But the crux of it is this: we all slept in as long as we needed to, which was pretty late.
By the time we got up, we were well rested. The sun shone. The pool water glistened.
We ate a light breakfast and bantered around in the kitchen. We enjoyed the fact that everyone was home. We laughed and joked. We got a few little things done.
In the early afternoon, Jonno grilled burgers for us. We ate them with all the fixings: ketchup, mustard, cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and even onion for the bravest souls. We also had corn on the cob and watermelon. Burgers, corn on the cob and watermelon on the Fourth of July... it just doesn't get any better than that. Except, we also had stevia lemonade and fresh strawberries, so maybe it does.
After our feast, we had to take Jonno to the ballpark to be a mascot, but then the rest of us all swam in the pool (Keirsten, too!). The sun was hot and the water was lovely, a perfect day for a family swim.
At just the right time, we cleaned ourselves up and went to the ballpark to watch the baseball game. Our team won, and Jonno danced on the top of the dugout (in his costume). When they told the crowd to stand and sing "God Bless America," Shanny and I belted it out, despite the annoyed looks the folks in front of us shot back a couple of times. We met up with some friends at the ballpark, too, friends with babies. Every holiday is better if babies are involved! We had a four-to-one ratio of adults to littles, so it was completely delightful in every way.
(Laura and Shannon with Jonno a.k.a. "Pops" at an earlier and cooler game)
At the end of the game, we watched a smashing fireworks show right from our seats. The grand finale almost blinded and deafened me in the most wonderful way. Flaming explosions in my eyes, booming blasts in my ears, thick smoke in my nose and humid heat on my skin, I felt properly celebrated.
After that, we calmly navigated the crowd to get to our van, where the kids made sure Jon got his own bucket seat (because he was so sweaty) and Shawn patiently waited until exactly the right time to start the engine. Ultimately, Shawn did a masterful job of getting us out of there. As we drove up the parkway, past the lake toward home, we even saw the end of the fireworks from the Fairgrounds, across the lake.
Arriving home at approximately 10:30 p.m., we had not eaten since around 3 p.m., so Jonno fired up the grill and we had round-two of burgers and watermelon.
Lying in bed, full of satisfaction and happily exhausted, the only thing I regretted was that most of us had to get up and go to work in the morning. Oh, and that I had neglected to take one single picture.