"This was the best Fourth of July ever!"
Those were the words that came out of Ben's mouth as we drove home from seeing fireworks to all but conclude our Independence Day. I'm trying to cycle through every one of my Fourth of July holidays over the past 44 years to determine if he's right.
He might be.
I was awake early and got the dog out for a two-mile walk so I wouldn't have to in the evening, when everybody and their brother would be lighting off fireworks. She held up pretty well despite all the booms, as did the cat. But we could tell it was going to be another scorching day, so we left her home for the neighborhood parade.
I'm trying to remember the first year we participated in our neighborhood's Fourth of July parade, which is just a few blocks but still a nice event. Maybe 2005? Ben rode his bike in the parade for the first time this year, and Michael was on his scooter (he's getting too big for this one, which he's only had for about a year and a half). We walked, socialized with neighbors, and ate hot dogs, desserts, and snow cones.
We got back home where I dozed off for the second nap of the day, then eventually made our way to the JCC pool for a few hours. The only glitch, which we knew about beforehand (a friend texted us), was that someone had thrown up in the pool and the water needed to be shocked and treated. So, we couldn't jump in right away, but the JCC had some other activities for the kids (badminton included!) that occupied their time. The pool time was nice -- we hardly get to do this as a family, and here we were able to twice in two days.
We all agreed that no one wanted to cook, so we picked up Costa Vida on the way home--nothing says Fourth of July more than Mexican food! We ate dinner and hung out for a while at home, then proceeded to Part 3 of our holiday: a fireworks show. Usually, we go to Sugar House Park to watch their display, but this year, we visited some friends who live by the nearby country club that also has a fireworks show. The country club lets anyone come on the course to watch. First, we were at our friends' house, with some other families, setting off the fireworks they bought. The boys had fun -- they were the water patrol, using squirt guns to put out the minor flames left behind by the expended devices (Ben even made a siren noise like he was a fire engine). We then walked to the country club for the big display. We found a nice spot from where we had a good view and also could still see the Sugar House's fireworks. The boys ran around after the show was over, with the adults content to sit on the blankets and talk. Finally, we went home, only to find a neighboring family lighting off their fireworks -- the boys got to hold some sparklers to end the night.
So was it the best Fourth of July ever? I remember some good ones as a kid, and I remember some I had to work as an adult. I'm going with Ben's declaration of Independence Day and confirm, this was the best.