Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Let Freedom Ring

Happy belated 4th of July! We decided to play the actual day relaxed. Well, actually we made this decision after an already busy & hot weekend, and rushing to get everyone fed, dressed, in the stroller, and leashed up for our neighborhood parade. (Which was scheduled entirely too early for a holiday, in my opinion.) We knew we were cutting it close, but our fears were confirmed as we began noticing the remnants of candy still lining the boulevard as we trekked (down the hill in 95 deg. heat) to where we thought the parade was to begin. The Pyrenees Beast looked like he would collapse any minute, so we turned back and trudged (UP the hill in 95 deg. heat) toward home. After all this, I was pretty much spent, and decided that no article of clothing containing even a small percentage of Lycra will go on my pg body ever again if I'm going to be outside at all. It's cotton all the way! We had a fun lunch with Jack & Maryilyn & kiddos, and then went home and napped. Dinner was grilled steaks, corn etc. and then we loaded up to stake out a spot for fireworks viewing. Our lovely Capital City police dept. did a grand job of blocking off EVERY SINGLE street accessing any good parking, so we had to resort to a lot next to the railroad tracks. DH commented that he felt like we were at a Border Patrol checkpoint - what with the variety of skin tones and the police heli scoping for errant fireworks with it's spotlight. It was very diverse, as I suppose any good celebration honoring freedom should be. The kiddos were happily ensconced in the jog stroller with ice water, and we had our $7 lawn chairs from Randall's. As the train could be heard in the distance, DH got up to see, and proclaimed that the evening might not go so well, since there were TONS of small children sitting/walking/playing on the tracks. The train, however, blew its horn loudly enough, and traveled slowly enough that everyone had plenty of time to get clear. It was quite the event for the Critter & Little Bit. TC LOVES trains, but had never been that close to one that was moving, and his eyes grew wide with that amazed adoration that is reserved for few things. At 10 ft. away, you could feel the vibration of the ground, and your chest rumbled along with the wheels. LB was just on the edge of being scared, but once the engine blowing the horn was down the track a ways, he fell into the rhythm of watching the cars pass in awe. All in all it was a bonus on an already fun evening.
The good-ole-boy in his dually next to us turned up his radio so everyone could listen to the symphony simulcast, and the fireworks began. Patriotic music, gorgeous starbursts, great breeze. As I watched my children watch the show there in the pitch, I noticed the reflections of the brilliant sky in their eyes, and how each explosion lit up their faces, and wondered what was going through their minds? And I marvelled at how wonderful it is to live in a country where we are free to become whatever we set our minds to, and the promise that holds for these children - all of them - regardless of skin color, language, socio-economic status, religion, handicap. God Bless America, indeed!