Today is Independence Day, which got me reminiscing about what we did to celebrate the day as a family. Growing up in Montville, our town’s celebration usually occurred the weekend prior to July 4th. It always made me laugh, because I always was amused that they called it “The Fourth of July Celebration” even if the festivities and fireworks occurred in June.
The parade would march down Changebridge Road, and end at the fairgrounds at the high school. As Girl Scouts, you would march in the parade and I seem to recall at least one of you marching because you got some kind of “intellectual award.” (Feel free to correct me.)
When you were little, Dad and I took you to the carnival and I think one of your favorite rides was the giant slide. As you got older, we eventually allowed you to go with your friends. That was a big deal not going with us. We would park on the field adjacent to the library and then walk down the hill to the fair where we ate junk food, went on the rides, and watched the fireworks.
Eventually, we went to Don and Patty’s house—the site of the most awesome barbecue ever, which is sadly ending this year after 21 years. After stuffing ourselves with everything from burgers to fried turkey and shrimp that Chef Don prepared on at least four grills, we would head to the end of the street to watch the fireworks. Don would ferry chairs and coolers down to the viewing field, and we would all ooh and ah at our town’s spectacular display of colors—complete with patriotic music in the background.
One year, we all piled into the family truckster and headed to Kiawah Island, SC where we celebrated 4th of July with Aunt El’s family. We rented bikes, decorated them with red, white, and blue streamers, and rode in the island parade.
Now you are all grown up and we are now four families, each one celebrating the 4th this year in a different state—SC, NC, MD, and NJ. While I look back with fondness on those days of our family celebrations of your childhoods, I am not sad. I am happy that you have found success, happiness and independence.