A Memory from the Fourth

Posted on: Monday, July 1, 2013

Jonathan + my brother Dylan with Chinese Lanterns
Dear Amy,

One of my happiest memories from my childhood exists in pieces in my head. It's a feeling, more than anything. A feeling of extreme contentment. One of those memories which makes your whole body relax, starting with a sigh, and the calmness washes over you.

I was young, probably no older than 10. I don't remember much. It was the Fourth of July (or maybe Memorial Day? Labor Day? But since it's the week of the Fourth, let's just go with that). We were waterside, at a pier, sprawled out on blankets. All of my siblings decked out in red, white, and blue. Impatiently awaiting the fireworks. Running around, eating strawberries, laughing like only kids can laugh.

And then the fireworks started. We were all captivated. Young, old, it mattered not, the fireworks held our attention from the first pop to the Grand Finale. And for a few short moments after the very last one, we were are quiet with baited breath, hoping for one last explosion. All of us, in a pile on the blankets, content.

I have no idea when that was. Or where. I remember the water, and I remember the fireworks, but more than anything I remember the feeling. The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. Christmas Eve might tie it, but the Fourth is kind of amazing in my book.

We spend it on water or with friends or getting married (four years ago this week!) but it's always a happy day for me. Fireworks or no, water sports or rain, the Fourth is a happy day.

What do you do for the Fourth? Any awesome traditions? Are you a sparkler runner, or a sparkler watcher? Have you ever seen the Chinese lanterns like the one Jonathan is holding up there? We lit a few of those last night, and oh my gosh, they are so much fun. Not as loud as fireworks, not as flashy as sparklers, but calm and beautiful. Just my style.



  1. This is so great. You made me think back to so many different memories... The summer is definitely the season that holds the most memories for me.

  2. I'd love to hear (even) more about these Chinese lanterns! how did this tradition get started? where do you guys let them off? do you make them yourselves? It seems completely beautiful and I totally want to try my hand at it sometime.

    (PS /SO/ wonderful to see and spend a little time with you guys! can't wait to do it again! Next time both kiddos will be running around and getting into all sorts of trouble)

    1. I agree, sprout. Mallory! Tell us about the secret of the lanterns! [Amy]

    2. Oh man, Sprout, they are so much fun! Have you seen Tangled? I totally want to watch it again after playing with them.

      This was the first time we had done them! My brother grabbed some with the rest of the fireworks and we set them off in our backyard in Milan. It's wide open country living out there, so it was really cool to watch them disappear after a really long time. We didn't make them ourselves, but I bet you could pick some up really cheap now that the Fourth is done + over!

      (It was SO great getting those two together... and seeing you guys! Can't wait until next time!)


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