The Fourth of July was always one of the better holidays for me. My fathers side of the family owns a waterfront cabin on Whidbey Island and generally everyone gathers there on the 4th.
I don't remember a lot of holiday traditions growing up, but I do remember a lot of 4ths up at the cabin, my uncle bringing the good fireworks purchased from the local tribes, and having them set off on the dock over the water.
It was a good holiday for me. Lots of people to hang out with, but lots of independent activities when the crowd got to be too much for a shy girl like me.
The 4th was how I introduced K to my family. 9 years ago, we had been dating for a few months, living in Massachusetts, and on a whim, I invited him to travel to Seattle with me to meet my family. And being the brave man that he is, he decided to come west with me and met my family, everybody, all at once. The clan is pretty darned intimidating just due to the sheer number of them, and he tackled them head on. It was a great day, yielded some stories that we'll tell for decades to come, and my cousin snapped one of my favorite pictures ever taken of me (us). Yes, I'm actually going to show you all a picture of me for a change. This is K and I, 9 years ago when we were first dating.
I'm feeling a little too independent today. Today probably would have been the debut of my girls. They would have been about 2 months old for this holiday and I can't help but think that I would have been just about ready to get the hell out of the house and attempt taking them somewhere. Every parental figure in my life would be there, probably passing them around for goo-gooing, giving me a few minutes here and there to be baby free after 2 months of constant babies.
Well, I'm baby free. And I'm sticking around the house. Not going up to the cabin with a million cousins who either care too much, or don't care enough about what I'm going through (because there is no perfect level of caring that will make me feel comfortable).
Happy Independence everyone. You have my condolences.