Growing up, the 4th of July always meant camping. Camping with my parents, brothers, and more Aunts, Uncles, and cousins than you could shake a marshmallow stick at. The morning we were to leave my parents would drop us off at daycare and promise to pick us up by noon. I remember us asking our daycare lady a million times, “what time is it?”, “is it noon yet?”, eventually she would get sick of us asking and send us to wait outside (yeah, we had some sketchy daycare ladies). My brothers and I would sit on the lawn, engage in a stare down with the end of the road anxiously waiting for that maroon 1976 Dodge van to pull in the road. Once we saw it, we would hop up, run to the van, open the door and have our seat belts buckled before my Dad could even take his foot off the big foot gas peddle (oh yeah, it had one).
As the years went by, camping wasn’t so cool anymore. Eventually we stopped going with my parents or my parents stopped taking us, I can’t quite remember, and the 4th of July meant driving three hours to OOB to see fireworks with friends or partying at the home of whoever's parents were camping that weekend (Mom, I swear I never had a 4th of July party at the house).
Then I met my husband and over the years we have developed our own 4th of July tradition. A day or two before or after the 4th, we go to Young’s Lobster Pound and enjoy some of the best seafood Maine’s coast has to offer. On the day of the 4th we partake in the Annual Three-Mile Pond Boat Parade. We, along with dozens of others, decorate our boats, circle the lake and then dock at my parent’s lot where we enjoy a huge BBQ with more family and friends than plastic surgery incisions on Heidi Montag's face.
I wonder if everyone has a 4th of July tradition. If you don’t, I challenge you to create one this year. Whether it is making flag pancakes for your kids, going to see fireworks, or just blaring R.O.C.K in the U.S.A. by John Cougar Mellencamp on your ipod as loud as you can – start a tradition this year!
July 4th has always been and still is my favorite day of the year. Have a Safe & Happy 4th of July Everyone!!