Fourth of July is my second favorite holiday of the entire year (behind Christmas, of course, I am a little Christmas crazy after all).

I guess it’s kind of a strange holiday to call your favorite–most people like Thanksgiving, or Memorial Day or even Valentine’s Day, Easter, or Halloween. Not me. Fourth of July is where it’s at!


I think there are a few reasons for my undying love of the Fourth. The fact that my birthday conveniently falls on the fifth is probably not the least of them. And, of course, the Fourth usually brings a good dose of family time, and you know I love my family. It’s usually sunny and bright (and hot) and the best day of the year to spend outside, searching for four-leaf clovers in the backyard, catching butterflies, or jumping through the sprinkler. It’s even a good excuse for bringing out the slip-n-slide (or at least it was when I was a kid).

And then there are the fireworks. Oh, the fireworks. Really, I can’t begin to express how much I love those magical, wonderful sparkles in the sky.

My memories of the Fourth are a dazzling array of vivid pictures best summed up in a single word–magical. They are memories of picnics and sparklers and brothers and just plain wonderment.

Fourth of July as a child.
Fourth of July picnic when I was a child.

Of course, over time things change. A few years back I began taking my nieces to the fireworks. I loved sharing the awe and inspiration with them, even if they were small enough to be afraid of the noise–I just covered their ears with my hands and held them close in my lap.

Holding my niece.

Now that I’m in Virginia, Husband and I joined his family (or maybe they joined us?) at a local park for fireworks. We brought chairs and picnic blankets and spread out on the grass. Husband fell asleep as we listened to a live band play patriotic music before the big show.

You see, magical isn’t something you have to grow out of. It’s just something that evolves with you.

This year we’re going again, for the sights, sounds, and smells of summer. We’re going to drink in the being part of summer and let go of the doing part. We’re going to spread out a blanket and lay on our backs and just enjoy the moment.

And it’s going to be magical.