When I was a child, no matter where we lived at the time, the 4th of July was always about hot dogs and chips, toasted marshmallows and ice cream. It was sparklers and fireworks. And it was the effervescence of running around outside as twilight approaches, and feeling completely free without having any true understanding of what that meant.
When I was a teenager, the 4th of July was about enjoying the first real event of summer. It was about freedom from tests, cliques, and the daily drudge. It was about feeling alive and excited for what may be waiting in the near future, without having any true understanding of what that meant.
When I was a young adult, the 4th of July was about spending time with family and friends. It was about barbeques and old stories, fireworks and a break from new responsibilites. It was the smell of the shore and a sweet nostalgia for what was now the past, though, even then, I still didn't have a true understanding of what that meant.
And now as a mother, the 4th of July is a return to childhood, through smaller, innocent eyes. Fearful of where the country is headed for them and excited for what their summers will have in store, I hold their hands tightly because I understand a little of what it will all mean for them.
I'm 32, a dad, and I am not a douchebag...
6 years ago