Saturday, July 6, 2013

6th of July

We're on the road for the second weekend in a row. Last weekend was a quick trip to northwest CT to see friends. We took the Pike west to modern-day Mayberry. Well, if 80% of Mayberry consisted of vacation homes for Manhattanite hedge-fund managers... It was our intro to summer lake culture. The kids were able to ride bikes to the lake. There was a great swimming area with lifeguards, and a beach stocked with sand toys. The lawn overlooking the beach was shaded, and there was a great playground. It was heaven for kids. And heaven for parents that could turn them loose there. 

Now we're in MN, which is heavenly in its own way. We're staying with BestestHusbands parents, and we're joining in on a visit by his sister and her 3 yr old. In other words, the girls are soaking up some fun with Grandma, Grandpa, and their younger cousin. 

Life is good. 

Life here has consisted of playgrounds, kiddie pools, a trip to the lake beach, a boat trip and swim in the lake, and multiple trips to the neighbor's rope swing. And homemade treats from Grandma and Grandpa. 

The girls saw their first live fireworks on 4th of July. I think it was as magical for me as it was for them. We got an invite from one of Grandma's coworkers to watch the fireworks from her house. She has lakefront property near the community firework show, and from their yard, you can look across the lake to see the shows from surrounding communities. There were just a lot of fireworks. 

We got there before dark, and the girls had fun running around with some of the other kids there. They ate giant patriotic cupcakes. They begged for more chips and soda. As the light faded, they acquired glow sticks. I had no idea glow sticks would be such a big hit. Now I know. 

When it was finally dark enough, the show began. I had commandeered a lawn chair early in the evening. I had a great vantage point. HeyMama was running around with a neighbor girl, but MeToo stood transfixed by the spectacle. I pulled her close and she settled in for the show. 

She narrated for us. "That one's purple and green! That one's red and blue!" She watched the whole thing intently. It was pure magic in the eyes of a 3 year old. It's still pure magic to me. 

The feeling of that night embodies 4th of July to me. The air was warm and soft, with the perfect amount of breeze. Kind people shared their lakefront property with us, extending generous hospitality. We had traveled there to see family, without prior government approval. We could sing patriotic songs (or not), free to assemble in any way we saw fit. My second child talked to the third child in my belly. We didn't need government approval to have that second or third child. The endless little freedoms we enjoy are so small, yet so significant. And added together, they weave a rich and wonderful life in America. 

So happy belated birthday, America. May you prosper and enjoy many more free and happy years ahead. 

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