It seems our prevailing family tradition for the 4th of July is to rely on friends to invite us to their parties. :)
The Fourth is a holiday that I really enjoy - and I think that is in large part to what the celebrating was like for me as a kid. Grandma and Grandpa's house, big party at the park (the whole town was there - all 134 people! - and then some) with bingo and snow cones, cousins all around, and fireworks followed by sparklers (and the great race to see who could run around the house without theirs burning out) to end the night.
Fond memories. Some of my favorite. If we lived close enough, I'd take my kids to the 4th of July in Aurora. Those were special times.
But for us, aside from making sure we take in the fireworks, the Fourth has been a conglomeration of a lot of different things. When we were in Illinois, my parents happened to be visiting over the holiday three or four times, so that was an extra fun way to celebrate. When we lived in Minnesota, it was so stinkin' hot we opted for holiday colored bomb pops (eaten inside) and fireworks viewing from the back of the van in a quiet parking lot. And now that we've made our home in Midland, each year has brought us together with different friends doing different things.
This year, our friends Jill and Alan, and their son Thomas (which is a friend of Drew's) invited us to their family's 4th of July soirée. It's an annual gathering that they host, and includes their closest family, friends and a few neighbors. They live three blocks away, so we made our way to their house by foot after Ruby's nap that afternoon.
Their annual traditions include an all-aged wiffle ball game (the female/kid team dominated), water balloon toss (which is quickly followed by a water balloon fight) grilled shish-ka-bobs and fireworks.
The country club is an additional few blocks from our home, as well, which is where we've been viewing our local fireworks. Likely the only time we'll be allowed to step foot on the fairways!
Surprisingly, Ruby stayed awake for the entire evening. She seemed to enjoy the fireworks, and it was Drew who told me his eyes hurt because they were too bright. Crazy kid.
So perhaps the 4th of July tradition for our kids will be celebrating the holiday with friends. Those can be their special memories. Sounds great to me. :)