Back in the day, as a young child, 4th of July was my absolute favorite holiday. Every year we would spend the entire day at a relatives house swimming in the pool and bbq-ing. As night time approached the entire block would set lawn chairs in the street and we would watch fireworks for what seemed like ... forever. There is nothing more amazing than big sparkles and colors that light up the night sky... ok, that's probably not true (have you seen a star filled sky in the middle of the desert? pretty amazing).
As I got older, and we were further away from family, the day didn't seem as special... until night time approached and all we could see in the sky were the fireworks.
When I was 14 I remember being at home with my parents and a friend of theirs while my brother was gone for the day with his friend. I was bored, but SO looking forward to that night. At some point my dad went to the store. While he was gone the phone rang, I answered it and the person on the other end said " Hi I'm at the market and there is a guy here getting arrested and asked me to call this number". I freaked out because for one tiny second I thought "my brother", but then I knew it had to be my dad. My mom and I rush over there but they already had him handcuffed, in the car and wouldn't let us just take him home. We had to go home and "wait" for a phone call.
I don't know what time it was but I do know it was past dark and we didn't see any fireworks that night except for the one's in the distance as we drove to and from the police station to get my dad. After that year, 4th of July was ruined for me. I honestly don't remember a single year after that one as anything too exciting (as in good exciting, not the getting arrested exciting)... until now.
I ALMOST skipped this year of firework watching because of what a hassle it is just to drive somewhere, find parking (a mile away) and squeeze into a spot between hundreds, probably thousands, of people.... but I didn't, I sucked it up and I'm so glad I did. Because that hassle was SO worth the 15 minutes of seeing this little face light up with happiness.
4th of July may not be the same as it was when I was growing up, but I'm ok with that... because now with babe in my life, it's a whole new other feeling of happiness the holiday will bring each year.