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Happy, safe Fourth of July?

When I was little, our family would host a huge BBQ in our backyard that would last until dark so we could lie on the grass and watch fireworks.  Like a lot of holidays, the meaning of the holiday -- "Independence Day" --  was washed out by the food and drink that accompanied the generic celebration.  Still, it marked the start of the summer for us, and here in Portland it definitely marks the start of warmer weather.

Have you explained to the kids the meaning of the day?  How are you celebrating or recognizing?


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We're headed to Fort Vancouver! We have a picnic planned, with blankets, and folding chairs. We'll be watching some fireworks as a family. Something we haven't done in a very long time.

I'm definitely NOT having a safe 4th right now, ugggh!

Even with a white noise machine my daughter is having a difficult time sleeping tonight with various neighbors nearby letting off some pretty semi-professional fireworks. I'm sure type of post has been posted before many times, but it SUCKS having an infant or toddler on the 4th! I would just love to see fireworks banned from residential areas period, and designated parks for their use, sorry to say.

It's another one of those "whys" that caught me a little by surprise-- my three year old asking me "why" we wear red, white, and blue; why we barbecue and hang out with the neighbors; why we have fireworks; why our block is closed; why we ride our bikes in the street--BUT ONLY TODAY! All I could do was laugh at my funny, circuitous explainations-- trying to explain America as a country and then Britain, and why we would be happy to be our own country. His response: "But we live on Earth!" Of course, and that has it's own day, too.

We went to the Blues Festival with the kiddos. We have never really explained Independence Day, but the kids are only just getting old enough to question it.

Ironically, the fireworks at the waterfront were set to music by Coldplay and Pink Floyd!

(P.S. I have some really grumpy children today, but we definitely had a great time yesterday.)

Yeah hey!! Happy fourth day!! That day is so special to me ^^,

My daughter is 6, and I believe she thinks the 4th of July is a celebration of fireworks, which I'm sure is logical enough at the moment. Next year she'll be old enough and likely curious enough to hear a bit about the history and relevance of the holiday.

I explained American independence to my 3 year old via his main frame of reference: Thomas the Train. I found myself saying things like, "The King of England was sort of like Sir Topham Hat (my son's only frame of reference for a somewhat irrational authority figure) and he didn't want the people in Obama's America (which is what my son calls the US) to do the things they wanted to do, like go to church." At which point, my son made a sort of incomprehensible reference to church being the place where you can't play with your friends. (Where did he get this idea? We don't attend church.) And then we kept walking home through the beautiful night.

Yep. I told my 4-year-old, "Today is America's birthday. The people in England were very bossy, and not very nice to the people who had moved to this country. So the people in this country told England they couldn't be the boss of us anymore. And they called this country America."

When asked to repeat this explanation, she said, "We're celebrating toasting marshmallows! And ..." [waving hand around in the air, vaguely] "... this place. Earth."

I really love this fourth of July I celebrate this with barbecue and beer.

We sang Happy Birthday America with our 3 (almost 4 year old) and then we blew up a bunch of illegal fireworks... I think he's a bit too young to fully grasp the concept of independence but every year I imagine, he will learn more.

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