I'm ready to be done with the Fourth of July. It has been a long holiday! The arrival of the holiday on a Sunday seems to have upset the planning of the area festivities. When they made a decision about what to do, they never consulted each other.
Therefore... we started on Saturday and are just finishing. Saturday began with a few errands. We returned a billion books to the library and checked out another trillion. Both boys have been reading up a storm all summer; finishing a book a day sometimes. I think they've spent more time reading than with lego. I remember summers like that, and since we head to the pool to play with friends almost every day, I know they aren't just reading out of boredom. Our other errand was to buy a new chair for our den, replacing the hand-me-down chair which replaced the two hand-me-down chairs before it. I needed something small and wanted an upholstered rocker. I finally found just the right one on Friday and took CD back Saturday to choose a fabric for it. It'll be a while before it comes in, but since we've waited eleven years I think we'll be ok waiting a few more weeks.
We swam at the pool for a while and then prepped for the area fireworks display which was Saturday night. My parents joined us there and we had a fried chicken and potato salad picnic while the kids ran around and jumped in bouncy things with lots of neighbors and friends. The fireworks are set off at one end of a soccer field while the audience fills the far end. They're huge and they're close. I love it every year. A cover band of high quality played hits from the 60's and 70's (and a bit beyond) during the display. We oohed and aahed as new bursts of color and booms of sound continued for ages. We tossed the kids into bed around 10:30.
I had committed to helping at Sunday School in the morning, and had a fun time with Bug's class. When we came home he and CD went down to the ballpark to spend time in one of the batting cages. He'd been asking to do this for ages and I think they both enjoyed it. We cooled off for an hour in the pool and then returned to pull together another picnic. We met friends at another area fireworks display taking place Sunday night. This one was in a town square and had a concert band performing. The kids climbed on statues and cannons until dark. This location had better music (think 1812 overture) but I think I preferred the fireworks above treetops to those above buildings. And it was a bit further away so we didn't get the boys into bed until 11pm. We crashed at the same hour, hoping everyone would sleep in.
And yet I just knew they wouldn't. At 7:59 I heard a quiet voice saying "Bug, wake up. It's parade day!" They knew that the town nearest us was having a parade bright and early on Monday morning. This is the Candy Parade, as it seems every float, politician, and marching group tosses candy to the kids. Last year they filled a grocery bag with candy, so this year we aimed to sit closer to the end of the parade route, hoping most of the candy would be gone! There were more politicians than normal (primaries in three weeks) but just the right amount of candy (an adult handful collected between the two of them), plus a Frisbee and two patriotic leis.
Following lunch at home, we set off on a family bike ride- another request they'd made repeatedly all weekend. We aimed for the home of some friends who live about four miles from us. We'd called to be sure they were home and were surprised to meet them on the bike path halfway between our homes. The route changed a bit and continued on until we arrived at a local ice cream shop in a retired train caboose. It was the break I needed! On the way home we encountered a wonderful crop of wild blackberries and we rested again to fill ourselves with warm, sweet berries.
Soon the boys will have more stamina than I. The bike ride home was mostly downhill or I'd never have made it. And, as for three days of July 4, I think I'll be happy to celebrate just once next year!