A very sappy Fourth of July.

Posted on: Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dear Mallory,

First off, when I saw that photo of Jon holding a precious paper lantern, I was beside myself. After watching Tangled, which I'm justly obsessed with, I have been on the lookout for an opportunity to launch fiery, paper objects into the sky. There are a few life moments I plan on commemorating with paper lanterns, but in an effort to hold back tears, we won't be talking about those now. And those are moments that I cannot plan for, apparently; fate has its own timeline for us. [Oh wow. How deep am I getting right now? Let's switch gears.]

Growing up, the Fourth of July was a time for everyone--family, friends, and friends of family and/or friends--to gather at our house. I was lucky, and my parents were a little crazy, to grow up with a pool. Our neighbors, who we were very close with, had a gate installed between our backyards connecting the two. [Probably illegal, but the pool has since been filled with dirt and grass and other things that have smothered my reminiscing heart, so there are no worries.] The Fourth was a time for the two houses to host a gigantic party involving splash contests and beer and sparklers and music and desserts covered in white frosting and berries. Wet towels were everywhere, strangers became friends, and parents watched their children like hawks. It was crazy. I remember running between the two houses with peeling summer skin and dripping wet hair, towel held around my neck like a cape, delivering messages from one host to another or mounting another sign on a front door ["Enter through side gate!"] or squealing over the largest game of hide-and-seek ever.

Attending a party like that now turns my palms sweaty and my mind rushing.

Strangely enough, Aaron and I haven't started any Fourth of July traditions. In fact, and this will maybe shock you and maybe sadden you, I cannot remember a Fourth of July since we've been married! One year Aaron was in Afghanistan. Another Aaron had to work third shift and I turned in early. The following summer Aaron was in Kuwait. Last summer we celebrated with friends by watching the fireworks and getting caught in traffic for an exorbitant amount of time [oh joy]. That was fun.

That, my drooling friend, is called an IT'S-IT. It has fulfilled all of my ice cream sandwich dreams. 
I think I will indulge in one too many this Thursday. It seems like the truly American thing to do.

But I like a good sparkler. And I like berry covered desserts. And I like celebrating everything that Aaron's job stands for, everything my grandfathers' fought for in World War II, everything our uncles did during the tumultuous 1970s. This summer we'll be celebrating the Fourth with my sister and her boyfriend on a lake with the dogs and the sun and, fingers crossed, some sparklers. I'm actually a bit choked up about it because I don't know when this will happen again. When will I celebrate America's greatest holiday with family again? I miss running around with my siblings, lying in scratchy grass to feel the boom of fireworks in our chest, sipping Squirt and dripping mustard out of hot dogs.

Wow Mallory. I'm all emotional now. I think the tradition I'll start this summer is making sure to hug. Hug whatever family is closest and celebrate. Take a lot of photos. Do potentially dangerous things in the water, like tubing. [Trust me. It always ends in tears for me. Pulling all of your back muscles is no joke!] What things do you want Harry to remember from the Fourth of July? Do either Jon or you have any traditions you insist upon on the Fourth? What do you miss about celebrating with family?

And four years. Congratulations. That made me smile so big.

Your sappy friend,


  1. Holy cow. An It's It?! Need that, like now.

  2. i don't think those it's it's exist in michigan. i am devastated.

    1. IT'S-ITs don't exist in Michigan?! I am so sorry for you. I don't know if you'd be interested, but you can always order them online and you get them the next day! My future in Arkansas may require that exorbitant step... [Amy]

    2. Well, I'm not sure. I thought maybe it was a Target brand thing, so I looked for that. I didn't look for individually wrapped things. I'll look again this weekend!


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