Fourth of July Deprivation
The Fourth of JuIy, otherwise known as Independence Day, is HUGE in the USA, and I know I have seriously short-changed my (American) kids on this one. For a start we’re usually not even in the country, and since it’s not a big deal in England unless you move in American expat circles, (which we don’t), it usually goes unnoticed. A really good mother would take stars and stripes napkins and paper plates to England, and mark the occasion with a little American-style BBQ for friends and family, but when packing for three kids and myself, it’s usually not even on my radar till we’re half way across the Atlantic. Besides, no one in the UK gets the day off on the fourth, so there’s not usually a lot of enthusiasm for a mid-week party.
Even if we were in the States, the kids would still probably consider themselves short-changed. We have never lived in the burbs, where neighbors get together for street parades and pot luck BBQ’s, pop down to the community pool and generally fraternize. Lots of people mark the Fourth with a fireworks display in the evening, which this Brit always finds a little strange. I mean, I grew up with Bonfire Night, (November 5th) and since it gets dark around 4pm during British winters, I’m not used to having to keep small children up till after 9pm to see fireworks. By the time I decided they were old enough to stay up without extreme crankiness the following day, my kids were too old to really care about fireworks.
Besides…it doesn’t help that they have a mother who jokes that July 4th is the British Thanksgiving day – the day we got rid of one of the peskier colonies!
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