The Red, White and Adulting Blues
Close your eyes.
Think back to Fourth of July when you were a kid. Here is what I imagine…
I can see my dad at the grill, happily flipping burgers for us all. Then the constant question, “Who wants cheese!?”
I hear the shouts of my younger siblings and friends as they run through the sprinklers. They would surely be asking me to fill and tie water balloons for them soon.
(Yes, that is me with the giant glasses, on with my family)
It smells like smoke and barbecue and hamburgers. My mouth waters.
I feel the grass in between my toes because we are always barefoot.
Night starts to fall and we begin hearing fireworks in the distance. Technically, it is not allowed at residences in New Jersey, but everyone’s a rule breaker. Heck, we are celebrating our country breaking the rules today.
We are lucky enough to see some shooting into the sky from one of our neighbor’s yards. There are “oohs” and “aahhs”. Our faces are all glowing. It may be the reflection of those reds and oranges lighting up the sky, or it may be our spirits.
Lightning bugs join the show as we run around trying to capture them, only to release them immediately and start chasing them again.
Mommy brings out some s’mores. Melting marshmallow and chocolate run down our fingers… and our faces.
It smells like summer. You can’t explain that smell. It is too sacred.
What do you see? Who do you see? What do you smell?
When you open your eyes, how do you feel?
Personally, I see a desk, a pile of dirty laundry in the corner and a cork board with a list of appointments and to-do items. I realize that often, my days off of work (like Fourth of July) have become an opportunity to catch up on all of the “adulting” that I didn’t have time for during the week. I think that may be the same for many of us. Maybe we break out the grill for dinner and have burgers with our significant other. Maybe we wear red, white and blue.
This year, I challenge you to be a kid again. Live it up, smile, laugh, eat too much, maybe have a few drinks (drink responsibly and never drink and drive)!
Looking for ideas for your Fourth of July? What about:
Throw your own all-day barbecue and invite your family and friends. I recommend American flag themed food and décor. Hint: Target’s Dollar Spot is amazing!
Head to the beach or the lake. I know. It will be crowded. But we didn’t care about that when we were young! Embrace the idea that so many people have come together to celebrate!
Go to a baseball game. It doesn’t get any more American than that. And don’t forget to tailgate!
Volunteer or give to charities. Our country continues to stay great because of amazing men and women who risk their lives to protect it. Check out volunteer opportunities near you and charities like the Wounded Warrior Project!
Spend time with people who don’t have their own family or friends to spend the holiday with. Try a homeless shelter, a retirement community or a youth center for disadvantaged youth.
No matter what you do, make sure it makes you glow. And not just from the fireworks.
Comment below with your favorite Fourth of July memory or what you will be doing this year!
And follow me on Instagram @RooHope50 to see what I’m doing on July 4th!