Red, White and Blue

Flags displayed during the 4th of July parade

When thinking about tradition, many people think of those winter holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. In our little family, Independence Day is steeped in tradition, just like the sun tea steeping on the hot cement driveway.

Many Chicago area suburbs have firework displays on July 3. So we start our Independence Day a little early and keep the girls up late. Lily was only two and a half when we took her to her first fireworks display, and she’s loved them from the start. Emmy is another story. She has never cried at the fireworks; she just holds on to me as tightly as she can and holds her hands over her ears, hardly looking at the fireworks. This year, she still sat in my lap and held her hands over her ears, but she looked up at the cascading lights in the sky with awe.

The next morning, bleary-eyed and sleepy from staying up late, we head to the 4th of July parade which begins at 9:00 sharp. Clowns, Corvettes, and even a camel…all part of the fun! Then it’s off to the park for balloons, hot dogs and games. The girls love the candy thrown from the parade floats and the games. I love the summer-ness of it all — the warmth from the sun, the loud celebrations — the red, white and blue.

Another one of Lily and Emmy’s favorites during the 4th of July — spray from the firetruck!

What are some of your favorite summer traditions?

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7 Replies to “Red, White and Blue”

  1. How fun! Ours is blowing up the kiddie pool, putting the plastic slide in, and letting the boys have a blast!

  2. I've a bit of a love/hate relationship with fireworks. I love those firework displays, I hate the noisy ones, especially those that disturb my monsters! The only time we're allowed to light fireworks is on New Year's Eve. If you get caught during the summer, you will be fined!

  3. Fireworks, of course, and then a cook out with my parents. Other than that we don't really have much of a tradition on the Fourth — oh, there is shutting all the windows and turning on the air to block out the neighbors setting off fireworks all night long from July 4 to August something or other because my neighbors are ANNOYING!

  4. My kids always loved staying up late and watching fireworks. Well, almost always. When my daughter was three or so, she was really frightened by them and cried and cried, so we had to leave. That only happened one year for some reason. Some of my favorite summertime memories from childhood are the driving vacations my family took to the west coast. It was really hot and we had no air conditioning and I had to sit in the middle of the back seat, but still, it was a great time!

  5. That sounds like a great parade! Traditions are so important and even though Emmy is kind of afraid of fireworks, I'm sure it'll be a memory she cherishes!

  6. A favorite summertime tradition is cooling off in the pool. (I admit, it's mostly an all year tradition in Florida..)

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