Firecrackers, Fireflies, and Family – 4th of July, 2020

Oh July, why have you been so fleeting this year! I can’t believe there are only a couple of days left before this month is gone. Typically I find July to be such a powerful mid-year marker for me – like a halfway point to check in with myself. It always feels like a chance to get my priorities realigned, goals set with fresh enthusiasm, and offers an optimism for making the most out of the rest of a year. Usually July leaves me enthusiastic to get back on track.

Craving accountability. Longing to reconnect with personal goals that will help hold space for the most important things in my life. I find myself longing to capture more moments, make the days more meaningful, maintain more presence.

fourth of july 2020 - firecrackers fireflies and family

I’m behind on the goals I have set for myself for blogging this month already. The energy I want to embrace and retain in moments of family joy or the gentle spaces in our days feels as fleeting as the month itself. I worry that it’s too late to post about the 4th of July. The firecrackers, the fireflies, the warm evening full of togetherness, gratitude, and reflection.

And then I stop myself. I’ve been learning to practice more self-compassion. To give myself permission to let go a little. Permission to make mistakes and do things poorly, to be late, to be messy, and to struggle. Permission to be patient and kind with myself.

The 4th of July was such a fun family day together. When I started this blog, one of the reasons I wanted to do so was to create another way to document our lives. This year the holiday arrived in the midst of uncertain and extremely challenging times. A global pandemic, a national reckoning on racial injustices and police brutality, protests across our nation, a major economic crisis. It’s not surprising that celebrating felt complicated.

How could we celebrate freedom in our nation when that freedom does not extend to everyone? When so many people are hurting, is there even room for joy?

For me this year, it was a holiday of both. One of sitting quietly with the realities of our country/the world and holding space for the pain and suffering of so many. And also one of embracing the magic of this season, while leaning into gratitude. Not a casual kind of gratitude, but one that inspires us to embrace our daily joy and motivates us to do good, and be better. To have hope.

So we spent a slow day together doing all of those things. We played, we swam, we napped, we painted, we grilled, we enjoyed a small firecrackers show put on by Papa. There was much enthusiasm about the pyrotechnics. There were sparklers, and we chased fireflies. The boys had never stayed up late enough to see fireflies before so that last part was pretty special.

The wonder and excitement on their faces, the innocence and enchantment – reminded me that the future is bright.

4th of july 2020 - firecrackers fireflies and family
4th of july 2020 - firecrackers fireflies and family
4th of july 2020 - firecrackers fireflies and family
4th of july 2020 - firecrackers fireflies and family
4th of july 2020 - firecrackers fireflies and family
4th of july 2020 - firecrackers fireflies and family

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