4th of July Hotdogs & Freedom

By Dana McIntyre  @DanaMcIntyre1

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays.   Someone is always having a cookout – you can smell the burgers and kabobs on the grill as soon as you walk out of your house.  You hear the squeals of the kids as they do cannonballs into the deep end of the pool.  And you wait patiently for dusk to fall and so that you can begin looking towards the sky in anticipation for the fireworks show to begin.

I remember going to Stone Mountain with my parents and sister every year.  My mom would pack a cooler with drinks and snacks and we would all pile in our old Volkswagen van.  While everyone was heading to the lawn in front of the Stone Mountain carving where the fireworks would be, my dad would drive in and park on the side of the road where we could see the fireworks but could also had semi-easy access to get out before the crowd departed.

The only bad thing about that plan was that he had three girls with him…and there were no bathrooms on the side of the road.  So my mom would walk us to the bathroom (about a mile away) and then by the time we got back the fireworks were almost over.

Other parents clearly had the same great idea as my dad and they would also start to leave the park before the fireworks were completely over, to “beat the crowd”.  It really didn’t help since everyone else had the same great idea, and we would end up sitting in the same spot for more than an hour while my dad’s blood pressure rose and he swore over and over that we would “never do this again.”  Eventually we would make it out of the park but by then, my sister and I were comfortably asleep on the back seat.

Fast forward 20 years and my husband and I just took our kids to the local venue for fireworks.  As we celebrated this beautiful country’s 236th birthday and as we were watching the fireworks blast off, I was reminded of how fortunate we all are.  I realized that the 4th of July has a different meaning to me as an adult.  It’s much more than fireworks and sparklers and hot dogs.  It’s freedom.

And as we all piled back in our SUV to “beat the traffic” home, I heard a little voice coming from the back seat.  “I gotta pee.”

What did you do for the 4th of July this year?

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