baby, you’re a firework.

Uncle Sam's wife, Lily.Birthdays are meant to be celebrated, and America’s kicked off the month of many parties in our house. Happy July!

I’ll admit, our Independence Day celebration started out a little slow. I did bake an awesome blueberry coffee cake and even popped a little American flag on top. But we didn’t get out of our pajamas until after lunch, or should I say after family nap after lunch. Past Andrew’s failed attempt at reading aloud the Declaration of Indepence to a rapt audience, we had no plans for the evening. So I came up with the brilliant idea to dine out at Chik Fil A- nothing more American than that (she says while cringing slightly)! After slamming some chicken sammies and a Dr. Pepper- yes, I did observe the holiday with a drink (of caffeine)- we returned home and looked around at each other blankly.

It took a beat, but then I remembered that I had leftover sparklers from Madeline’s first birthday party last year tucked away for just such an occasion. Seeing as our girl is not yet, but almost, two, we decided she was too young to hold a flaming stick herself. So we sat her in a patio chair, lit up the mini-fireworks and waved them around in front of her. “Aren’t they cool!? Sparklers! Yaaayyyy! They’re awesome! Woohoo!” I exclaimed. She didn’t even crack a smile. Maybe they’re only cool when it’s actually dark out?

After our fifth and final sparkler (we’re animals, I know) burnt out, I herded the crew back inside. Before anyone could get bored, I quickly passed out mini American flags and musical instruments, turned up the volume on some sweet marching band tunes and started an indoor family parade. I’m sure at first they (my husband, daughter and puppies) thought I was crazy, but it’s hard to resist the allure of a big trombone and a certain piccolo solo, am I right? Before long, Andrew had gone out to the front porch and brought in our large American flag to lead our parade. We followed him from one end of the house to the other with our heads high, knees higher, laughing harder than we have together in as long as I can remember. Click here to see a brief snippet of Madeline’s patriotic spirit!

Not long after Maddie had gone to bed (not to worry- she’s a champion sleeper), the real fireworks began. We watched the Macy’s display on TV (you can take a girl out of New York…) and then took the baby monitor outside so that we could catch a partially obstructed view of the on-post fireworks finale. Before heading up to bed, Andy and I creeped on our neighbor’s adorable driveway fireworks through our windows with the lights out, oohing and ahhing.

As far as partying with your toddler goes, it was a birthday well-celebrated, for sure. And as I closed my eyes sometime after eleven, listening to remnant illegal fireworks in the surrounding neighborhoods, I thought about how next year at this time how I’ll probably be cursing those same neighbors for waking my littlest baby and smiled. America!

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