The Fourth was with us.

It had been forever since I got to spend the 4th with my girls. Given that the holiday is during their month with their dad and hardly ever fell on one of my weekends, it had been more than four years since I got to watch fireworks with the girls. We had a Faux Fourth every year, with burgers, macaroni salad, our jello flag cake, and lots of water games…but how can that really compete with watching fireworks light up your daughters’ eyes?

Even with such a rosy outlook, I almost blew our weekend right from the start. I thought our town’s fireworks display was on Friday night – I mean, July 4th actually fell on a Friday! A holiday on a weekend! And perfect weather was planned! (Sorry, East Coast.) Who would mess with that?! Our town, apparently. Because our fireworks were scheduled for Thursday night, as I found out late Thursday afternoon, much to my dismay. I had been looking forward to couch lounging. Pizza. Pajamas. I didn’t want to have to stay dressed. Go out. And revel. Booo on that! That was for Friday night! And I couldn’t just skip fireworks – who knows when the next time I’d get to enjoy fireworks with the girls would be. After agonizing over it for a couple hours, I found a nearby town who was nice enough to host fireworks on the night of our country’s actual birthday, thank you very much, and couch lounging was preserved! Huzzah!

Of course, couch lounging still didn’t go as planned. After dinner, I discovered the Boston Pops was live-streaming their concert from the Esplanade – my favoritest of July 4th activities! I ran and got my dictator stick conductor’s baton and told the girls. Gracie sat and watched nearly the entire concert with me and Bee-girl drifted in and out. A few friends were online and tweeted the event with me and it was almost like I was home again, if only for a few hours.


The next morning, the girls and I drifted down to the town’s Fourth of July parade after sleeping in. (Hooray for long parades and towns with plenty of local parking!) We even got a decent spot for parade viewing, despite the fact that we showed up halfway through!


Say all you want about kids these days, but my girls loved watching the parade. Bee’s favorites were the “flag-girls” and Gracie’s were the marching bands. When this float went by, stylized after a log cabin and featuring people dressed as founding fathers, Bee piped up with, “Mom! Look! Patriots…but not the football kind. Sorry.”


My favorites were still the fire trucks. How many times did I stand on Main Street back home, watching the town’s parade end with all the fire trucks? (And how awesome was it that my uncle used to blow the horn or light up the siren when he drew the truck right in front of my cousin and I?)


After a lazy morning and an early cookout (with, yes, burgers and jello cake and macaroni salad on the actual Fourth – the indulgence!), the girls and I ventured out for fireworks. My plan was to park on the top of the parking garage at the mall, just a few blocks down the street from the park. I was worried that it would be crowded, even if we got there 90 minutes early. I should have been slightly suspicious when just a few other families were there. But Gracie declared it the best! 4th! ever! and so I didn’t much care about anything.


After bragging that we had the best spot, a stupid mall cop walked over and said no one was allowed on the parking garage. The girls were absolutely destroyed, but I promised we’d find a good spot. I was about to head out the airport where John and Corrie were hanging out, but saw a few families hanging out in a store parking lot across the street from the mall. We wouldn’t be up as high, but the sightlines looked good. And judging by how quickly it filled up just after we got there, it seemed to be a local favorite. The girls cheered up after awhile – the fact that they were sitting on the hood of the car didn’t hurt.


And the fireworks were just as wonderful as we had hoped.


It was a long day and a late night, but worth every single year I waited for it.


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One Response to “The Fourth was with us.”

  1. Kathy Says:

    So glad you had a good Fourth. We have fireworks on the 3rd & 4th here. One Township on the 3rd & several cities on the 4th. Makes it kind of fun.

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