Independent Independence Day

On this 4th of July – – we are reminded of  the  value of independence  – – and the gift we have as Americans to follow our pursuits, parades and popsicles. Lots and lots of popsicles.
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It’s so fun to see the Fourth’s festivities through the eyes of children. Every year, our neighborhood celebrates Independence Day with an early morning  potluck and parade. It’s tradition that Independence Day starts as one of the few where my children can savor (or stuff) an unlimited amount of doughnuts for breakfast.

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With sugar surging through our bodies, we take to the decorating of bikes and scooters. Pinwheels and pipe cleaners are as essential as glazed doughnuts in our Independence Day celebrations. Older children help younger kids decorate. They know the best way to keep a flag from falling off your bike mid-parade!

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Our Independence Day parade is more like a procession down the block to a kindly neighbor who has coolers full of popsicles waiting for exhausted participants.

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It’s wonderful to see how the children who were in strollers last year have “graduated” to sitting in wagons this year. How those on tricycles last Independence Day are now riding two-wheelers with training wheels. All too soon, these children will be walking among the parents, helping corral the next generation of newbies riding their scooters in the neighborhood parade.

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Our Independence  Day parade always ends with a moment of silence before we sing America the Beautiful.  This is my favorite obscure verse – – even though we rarely get past the first verse:

O beautiful for patriot dream,

That sees beyond the years.

Thine alabaster cities gleam

Undimmed by human tears!

So, as your children rock the red, white and blue today – –  celebrate their growing independence on Independence Day! Whether or not we realize it in this moment, we are also making memories that will hopefully last a lifetime.

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