Red, White, & Oh No She Didn’t

american flagHappy Belated Birthday America!

Every 4th of July, my family goes down to Granbury, TX to visit my Granddad who lives out in the middle of nowhere out there. In the past, my mom’s brothers and sister and their kids come too and we cook out, go swimming, play badminton or catch, watch the parade. We would forget for a day that we really don’t get along besides the little snippets of irritation that can be seen if you are really watching.

Well it isn’t really like that anymore. My aunt’s daughter and her five children moved overseas last May. My youngest uncle passed away this past year. My other uncle didn’t want to deal with my aunt. My aunt brought other kids for her sons to hang out with. It was just a really weird dynamic.

There was lots of bickering and arguing and yelling and squealing. Confession: I don’t do well with change or conflict. I don’t like to get in the middle of anything, I’d rather watch from the sidelines. So when my aunt sends my mom to fetch what she needs to finish cooking and then starts ragging on her once she inside makes me feel uneasy. I felt like a horrible kid by just sitting nearby reading a book staying out of it, because getting between sisters can be dangerous.

The 4th of July is my favorite holiday. Not because of the food or family, but because of the fireworks. I had this hopeful feeling that once we broke out the fireworks the whole dynamic of the day would change. We would come together in awe, but sadly that didn’t happen. My aunt decided she was in charge of the fireworks and you had to get her permission before lighting anything.

Her micromanaging behavior really put a damper on our fun. Previously, we just have it all laid out in categories: small stuff and big stuff. We just run up, grab, and go. The kids would do all the little stuff first and then everyone would sit while my dad, brother, uncle, and I would run up light the big stuff and run like Hell to watch it ignite.

There is something about fireworks that never fails to remind me of how alive I am. I love that loud boom as it hits the sky and that slow crackle as it fades away. I can’t help but smile as I see the color explode in the sky. 

It wasn’t the ideal 4th of July that I always remembered, but there were other things about that night that made it wonderful.

❤ a girl

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