Around the house, for whatever reason, I have been calling today's holiday not the "Fourth of July" or "Independence Day," but "America's Birthday." My kids have been really excited about celebrating America's Birthday. Today I disappointed Jill though, because she wanted to make a birthday card for America, and I explained that she could, but that we would have no where to send it. She had thought that America was a girl. Jeff told her that maybe we could go see Lady Liberty some day, but that America was not a girl.
Jill and I have also been discussing how we live in the town of Herndon (okay, not technically, but I don't feel like explaining ZIP codes and town boundary lines), the county of Fairfax, the state of Virginia, the country of the United States of America, the continent of North America, the planet Earth, and the galaxy of Milky Way. She and Danny get excited when I say "Virginia," "Earth," and "Milky Way." Those are their favorites.
We ventured into the capital today with some friends, one older and one newer. (Jeff's college roommate and the roommate's wife—it is fun to live so close to them now!)
Our intention was to go to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, but we ended up running into the parade! It was pretty cool. The Conductor from Dinosaur Train was one of the huge floating balloon things. My favorites were the music from the marching bands, the Chinese dragon, and the Indian (not Native American) dancing women. It was cool to see so many people from other cultures want to march in the parade celebrating the creation of our country. This grand experiment I call home!
The Folklife Festival was interesting as well. There were three main exhibits: Hungary, Africa, and Languages that are becoming Extinct. (They had fancier names than that, but that's what it boiled down to.) It is sad to have cultures die out. I kind of wish that America had ethnic clothing and dances. I wonder if there are any people left who can trace their heritage back to the Native Americans who used to live where I live now, or if they have all been wiped out. There are some parts of our history that I am not looking forward to teaching my children.
I do love America though, and it was pretty fun to get to spend its birthday in its capital city.
After we got home, we busted out what the kids had purchased earlier that week in preparation of the "birthday" party: bubbles and "fireworks." Jeff was disappointed when he discovered that the "fireworks" were actually all just poppers and snappers. Ha. He still managed to finish off our box of matches, even though nothing ever burned. Is there a pyromaniac in every boy? Danny loved the matches, too.
I hope you enjoyed America's Birthday today, and I hope you remember that it is the nation's people that make a nation great, so let's all do our part!