Fourth of July Tales

Okay, another light summer Friday. Let's share our tales of Fourth of July work/family joy, sweat, frustration and family.

One working mom friend with a five-year-old daughter, two-year-old twins, and a husband who also works full-time, whispered to me at a Fourth of July parade, "I'm so glad the Fourth fell on a Wednesday this year. It totally took away the pressure to make a great weekend away somewhere. The kind of thing I never imagined I'd feel before I had kids."

Of course I understood. A July Fourth holiday that lasted only 24 hours -- instead of July Fourth Weekend -- felt like an excuse to take the laid-back route for once, like a rainy day after weeks of nonstop sunshine. My friend's household of three kids under six, a dog, and two working parents provides plenty of fireworks every single day. Who needs more?

My three kids are older, and one of the gifts of parenthood is that we've learned to take the easy road whenever possible -- or suffer mental and physical collapse. So, we gratefully accepted an invitation to hang out at friend's pool club less than an hour's drive away. We showed up, we ate, drank and swam, we watched glorious fireworks, and we drove home. No additional family fireworks needed.

What kind of fireworks -- emotional or gunpowder-fueled -- did you see on July Fourth?

P.S. -- In case you haven't seen it, the BlogHer survey I wrote about in Blog To The White House last month is up. It takes only a few minutes to vote for your top global and U.S. priorities. Deadline to vote is Sunday, July 8. So go vote now!

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  July 6, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
Previous: Labor Department on FMLA: We Hear You | Next: Singled Out


Add On Balance to Your Site
Keep up with the latest installments of On Balance with an easy-to-use widget. It's simple to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry to On Balance.
Get This Widget >>


Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



First!

Posted by: Premier | July 6, 2007 7:15 AM

first

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 7:16 AM

Are we seriously complaining about holidays now? Based on yesterday's blog, I thought more holidays were what people were looking for?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 7:17 AM

Oh come on! It's Friday. Lighten up!

Posted by: Leslie | July 6, 2007 7:31 AM

"I thought more holidays were what people were looking for?"

Yeah, but when you get 1 day off and host a party, it makes for more work and stress than if there was no holiday to begin with.

It's like you have to polish the porcelin before and AFTER all your friends come by and pee on the seat. Have they no aim?

Posted by: Lil Husky | July 6, 2007 7:34 AM

We took the laid-back approach too. Swimming at our local pool in the morning and then accepted an invitation to a barbeque at the home of one of my work colleagues. It was an unexpected invitation as I'm not that close with this person but very welcome. They invited a lot of people and the place was chock full of with kids. It was so nice to just show up with a plate of cookies, stay as long as we were all happy and go home. Before kids my husband and I always packed a dinner and hit the Capitol lawn for the concert and fireworks. We have never tried it with the little ones but definitely plan to try one year.

Posted by: PT Fed Mof2 | July 6, 2007 7:46 AM

Usually, I love working around the holidays. Anywhere from 30-60% of my coworkers are out, I get loads done without constant interruption, and can take a long lunch if I want without guilt. The week between Christmas and New Years' is one of my favorite times to work. I can clean the slate for the calendar year. The 4th on a Wednesday was kind of strange, because this week felt like there were two Mondays in it (never a good thing), but I'm not complaining today!

I used to have to take vacation time around the major holidays so I could go home to my parents' house. Now, they come to me, and I almost don't have to take off any time at all, though I usually take the day before Thanksgiving off so I can cook for 25+ people! I told my parents recently that they should not expect us to travel at Thanksgiving or Christmas for at least 5 years. I want my kids' memories to be of the holidays at home, not stuck in traffic on 95 or delayed at an airport. My parents are retired and can much more easily come to us than we can to them.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 6, 2007 7:50 AM

Am I missing something? Is the 4th really a stressful time for some people?

To me, it's the easiest holiday of all. Throw some burgers on the grill, drink a few beers, play some wiffle ball, run through a sprinkler...I was not aware of the great angst this holiday produced. Maybe some stress about finding a good spot to watch the town fireworks...that's about it.

Posted by: R. Sherman | July 6, 2007 7:57 AM

YeGads, the leisure, the affluence - it can all be too much for a girl! Does anyone know where to find good help? Its so hard to find these days!

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 6, 2007 8:08 AM

The trouble with holidays in the middle of the week is simple--two Mondays!

Of course there are two Fridays. My work schedule this week. Monday-work, Tuesday-work, Wed-off, Thurs-work, Friday-off (normally scheduled Friday off.) Makes for a strange sort of work week.

It rained all Wed here but it did make me paint the bathroom! And the son helped paint!

Posted by: Fred | July 6, 2007 8:16 AM

My husband and I don't have kids yet and still didn't want a weekend away anywhere or any big party.

It is so nice that it fell on a Wednesday this year. All we did was relax in the AM, have a few margaritas at lunch and then watch a few flicks. The perfect day!

Posted by: Thought | July 6, 2007 8:18 AM

I don't ever recall 4th of July stress, either. This year, we went completely low key. We ran some errands, let DD play in her kiddie pool in the backyard, and skipped the fireworks (how do people with young kids manage to attend the fireworks? They don't even start until 2 hours past DD's bedtime).

My favorite 4th ever, we met some friends for a weekend in Las Vegas. We watched the fireworks at eye-level from the observation tower at the Stratosphere, then dined in the rotating restaurant as other towns' fireworks sparked all over the valley below us.

Posted by: NewSAHM | July 6, 2007 8:18 AM

This 4th reminded me of how much I'd love to have Wednesdays off! We went to the Expo and picked out all of the supplies for our bathroom remodel. Then DH cooked a massive meal of steak, 3 types of grilled veggies, twice baked potatoes, and baked feta. We tried to give the baby a late nap so she could stay up, but the dramatics started at 8:00, so we put her to bed and watched Deadwood on DVD. We heard the fireworks, but we live in Takoma Park, so the tree cover didn't allow us to see them, even though they are let off 2 blocks from our house. It was a great day.

Like WorkingMomX, I LOVE working the weeks everyone is on vacation, mainly because there's no traffic. I have vacation scheduled for later in the month, which is perfect. I got light traffic this week and have 3 fewer days of normal/heavy traffic later in the month.

Posted by: atb | July 6, 2007 8:47 AM

I remember the special July 4th memories I tried to make for my family over the years - usually camping trips. It hurts that my family continues these events - just without me since my ex joyfully replaced me with another woman.. but continues the traditions that we enjoyed as a family. Isn't life crazy?

Posted by: Starlight | July 6, 2007 8:57 AM

I second the idea of working around a holiday. My office is deserted today. It's nice.

Because we don't have kids, we had the opposite problem with the Fourth falling during the week. We couldn't take two vacation days to take a nice Dewey beach trip with our friends, and we couldn't afford five nights at the hotel where our friends stayed. So we took a short trip over the weekend and spent the Fourth here in NC. We saw the fireworks in Garner on Tuesday night, which was nice but super crowded. We opted to skip the fireworks on the Fourth because *my* bedtime is an hour before the display is over.

Incidentally, we saw more than a few families with their infant children in the audience for the fireworks. We were surprised people would bring such young kids. On the whole, most kids did fine with the noise, but some did NOT enjoy themselves.

Posted by: Meesh | July 6, 2007 8:58 AM

The summer holidays are the easy ones...it's those holidays with travel + snow that are stressful.

Posted by: librarylady | July 6, 2007 8:59 AM

I do think there was some pressure taken off by having it in the middle of the week. And when you're a working parent, a day off in the middle of the week to enjoy family time feels like quite a nice gift!

We watched the Takoma Park parade, then hung out at a friend's house for a BBQ - lots of kids running around while the parents just chilled. One of the most enjoyable free days I've had in a while!

Posted by: Light 4th | July 6, 2007 9:00 AM

Every year our neighborhood has a great little 4th of July parade! The beginning of the paradae has two fire trucks and two rescue vehicles (which had to race off to an emergency just as the 4 block parade route ended!) followed by 6-7 antique cars, and then every kid in the neighborhood decorates their bikes/scooters and rides in the parade. The rear is taken up with kids in decorated wagons and even some stollers. Great fun! Hardly anyone watches this parade -- everyone is in it! The parade ends at the neighborhood park for a fun picnic and games.

We just love this low key, old fashion good time. My kids would flip if we suggested that we should go out of town for the 4th!

Posted by: SLP | July 6, 2007 9:01 AM

We went down to the National Mall in the early afternoon; went through the National Museum of the American Indian and then the Northern Ireland part of the folklife festival. We left - by plan - shortly before 5 - in other words, just before they evacuated the Mall because of the severe weather. Went home, grilled burgers and dogs, decided not to go out into the middle of the thunderstorm to see the Baltimore or Columbia fireworks, and watched the DC fireworks on PBS. Then switched to the Boston fireworks on CBS. All in all a low-stress, fun kind of day.

(The only "stress" at all was the oldest DD - no two of her friends are heading to the same college next month, so they spent all morning trying to figure out how to spend their "last 4th of July" together. They finally went sailing with one girl's father and his new girlfriend. I heard that was interesting - recently divorced father, his new girlfriend, and his daughter and her six best friends. Probably wasn't what he planned. :-)

(For those who haven't been yet, the NMAI is very, very nice. I was particularly interested given that I'm one-fourth or one-eighth Plains Cree (lots of arguing over whether grandma was full blood or half blood). And I'd heard a lot about the Northern Ireland exhibit from some rather hot-blooded Irish Catholic friends who were not happy about the political symbolism of it. I found it to be a lot of fun, and very very apolitical. The Bushmills Irish Whiskey tent in particular is neat, although they have signs everywhere saying 'no free samples'.)

Posted by: Army Brat | July 6, 2007 9:07 AM

I'm a little sad that I lived near DC for 15 years and never went to the Mall for the fireworks. I also never went to Georgetown for Halloween. Both trips were avoided at all costs because of the crowds. Maybe I'll make a special trip to do one of those activities soon. Then I get to be one of those dang tourists I was always complaining about!

Posted by: Meesh | July 6, 2007 9:14 AM

Actually, we made it a long holiday and took Thursday and Friday off. We went to my in laws in PA for a cook out and swimming. We are going to Sesame Place on Saturday with all the cousins. It should be fun. I have been very busy because my data finally arrived a week ago. So I can't be on much. I will try to catch up on days off. Hope you all had a good time.

Posted by: foamgnome | July 6, 2007 9:17 AM

We went to a friend's for a cookout. We typically see them once a year now, on the fourth as they don't live as close to us anymore and we're all busy with kids. We actually had been invited to another cookout but then they cancelled cause dad was sick.

We wnt to the pool in the am and all took naps in the afternoon. The 5YO was excited for fireworks all day, then when we got there he thought it was too loud so we left. Whatcha gonna do?

Posted by: atlmom | July 6, 2007 9:22 AM

We had a get together at my parents house in Western Loudoun. Mother Nature shared her version of fireworks most of the afternoon so everybody left fairly early before I got to my "illegal" stash purchased at Phantom Fireworks in PA off of I-70.

I took yesterday off as well to spend some time with my kids before they went back to stay with their Mom. All in all it was a good day minus the rain. I love the 4th and hope my kids love it as much as I do when they get older.

Posted by: Sterling Park | July 6, 2007 9:27 AM

We ditched DC and moved to a small town in southern Maryland about 6 months ago. And this 4th was such a treat. The neighborhood association plans a fun celebration, small parade, old fashioned games (egg toss, water ballons, tug-of-war, pie eating and watermelon eating contests), we swam in the bay, played in the sand, ate hot dogs, burger and chips. Easy, relaxed and fun. A friend from a super wealthy, high strung DC burb came with her two boys. And we just kept laughing. The 4th of July celebration in her neighborhood is catered, parents worry lots about dehydration, applying more sun screen and who wins the games. My friend really could not believe that anything could be so relaxed, that people could be so friendly and that no one whipped out any purell.

Posted by: Raising One of Each | July 6, 2007 9:29 AM

SLP, I'm in the same boat - we had a fantastic parade, literally on Main Street, a few blocks from home. To Leslie's point, I cannot stand family fireworks, so did my best to avoid those and may have even accomplished that this year...

Thanks for recommending BlogHers Act Leslie - and we're very proud to announce that an offshoot has formed: BlogHers Act Canada! More here:

http://blogher.org/topic/social-change-non-profits-ngos/bloghers-act

Do you all have an issue you want bloggers to act on in the next year -- globally and in the U.S. election? We invite you to join us: Take our survey and let us know. Thanks!

Posted by: Lisa Stone | July 6, 2007 9:29 AM

get a large locker as soon as you get in.
I found the place to be a lot of fun for kids older than sesame street's target preschool audience.
the shows were good too.

Posted by: to: foamgnome | July 6, 2007 9:38 AM

I took my son to a family cookout while DH fried fish at another one. I eventually met him at that house and we had a ball! On the way home we watched all the illegal fireworks going off in the city along 295 and nearby neighborhoods.

We avoid the National Mall due to the crowding but we are lucky enough to live near a hill that has a spectacular view of the DC down below.

Posted by: 2xmami | July 6, 2007 9:40 AM

The 4th is the one holiday I make a point NOT to go anywhere, everything is right here, so it's built-in easy. One of the best things about where we live is that we're a block and a half from a great parade, and less than a half-mile from a really cool fireworks show (people actually park in front of our house to walk there). And my mom and her pool is a block away. So we just wander to the parade when we hear the sirens (this year we got the Gov, both Senators, AND the Ravens marching band -- dang, someone must have contributed to the right funds, eh?), wander back to my mom's when it gets too hot, all get together to grill out, and then wander over to the fireworks. I love never having to fight traffic or make a big production out of it.

This year we were more energetic than usual: we drove 20 mins to meet my sisters-in-law and families at their small local parade in the morning. Think lots of cub scouts on bikes. But they threw mucho candy and toys, so the kids LOVED it, and it wasn't very crowded, so the cousins got to run around and go nuts (in between the candy-throwing). Next year will be a tough choice between going back there or doing the local kid games at the high school (since the toddler will be old enough to participate).

Alas, the rain interfered with swimming and fireworks, but my sister was in town from CO, and I had some good dogs and brats, so it was definitely a nice, relaxing day with family. AND I even felt productive: used naptime to trim back the dang hedge that threatens to throttle anyone trying to come up the front walk. Was definitely nice to get at least one weekend chore done during the week!

Posted by: Laura | July 6, 2007 9:45 AM

We cooked out at my brother's house. Ate good food. The kids played peacefully with their cousins for hours. When it started pouring, the kids had fun running out from beneath the carport into the rain. When we left, the 2 yr old fell asleep in the car on the way home. Was able to transfer her to her bed without waking her. Got the other two to bed with no battles. And everyone slept through the night. Ahhh, if only our days were always that way.

Posted by: Rockville Mom | July 6, 2007 10:00 AM

We didn't particularly want to host a party this year, and I guess other people didn't either because we didn't get a single invite anywhere :) Teen-age daughters would rather be with friends than parents, so they went off in different directions. DH and I had a nice quiet day at home. Considered going to local fireworks show, but the rains took care of that idea. I actually enjoy a mid-week holiday. It breaks up the week and it's easy to avoid trying to cram too much into a short period.

Posted by: me | July 6, 2007 10:00 AM

I'm just wondering about Leslie's friend, the one who said she would have felt pressured to "make a great weekend away somewhere" - pressured by whom? By her own kids? By other parents?
Anyone have any insight on why parenting has become so competitive?

Posted by: Curious | July 6, 2007 10:03 AM

got off from work tuesday, and local fireworks were tuesday night.
watched them from about 1/2 mile away without the crowds.

wed was rainy, and quiet.
daughters were out, so we had a quiet date night for dinner.

Posted by: bryn mawr | July 6, 2007 10:06 AM

I'm just wondering about Leslie's friend, the one who said she would have felt pressured to "make a great weekend away somewhere" - pressured by whom? By her own kids? By other parents?
Anyone have any insight on why parenting has become so competitive?

Posted by: Curious | July 6, 2007 10:03 AM

That might actually have nothing to do with parenting. I think many of us have friends/family that don't live near us so we feel we "have" to take advantage of long weekends to go see them, so that we don't use vacation time or at least less time. So with the holiday in the middle of the week, that's not a concern.

Posted by: Rockville Mom | July 6, 2007 10:06 AM

After our neighborhood parade and picnic we usually have a small (and legal!) fireworks display in front of our house and invite friends and neighbors. This year we were invited to friends house for a cookout. Our kids were crushed -- no fireworks at our house?! We promised them we would do it on the 5th. They weren't thrilled but went along with it.

Well, we all had a great time at the cookout. We also ended up paying half price for the fireworks by buying them on the 5th (so of course we bought more)! We also had a record turn out last night because no one had plans for the 5th -- we must of had 50 people on our front lawn last night! My kids had a blast with all their friends over! I suspect they will be tempted to repeat this again next year.

Posted by: SLP | July 6, 2007 10:17 AM

Anyone have any insight on why parenting has become so competitive?

Posted by: Curious | July 6, 2007 10:03 AM

For some people, it appears to be another pawn in the status game. Sadly enough. I'm not a parent, so I can't really say why it seems to be so competitive. I think people are way too worried and wrapped in appearances, and how they seem to others. The jobs, house, cars, and kids. Seems to follow a particular script. Maybe when everyone is following the same path, they feel threatened for some reason.

Posted by: JRS | July 6, 2007 10:20 AM

"Anyone have any insight on why parenting has become so competitive?"

I think Leslie's friend might be putting pressure on herself, but I don't think she's being competitive.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | July 6, 2007 10:28 AM

I'm just wondering about Leslie's friend, the one who said she would have felt pressured to "make a great weekend away somewhere" - pressured by whom? By her own kids? By other parents?
Anyone have any insight on why parenting has become so competitive?

Posted by: Curious | July 6, 2007 10:03 AM

Quite a leap there from a comment about feeling pressured to a discussion about parenting. I can't even figure out what the 6 degrees of separation would be from one topic to another.

I read the initial comment to refer to the phenomena of receiving invitations to visit friends and family for every potentially long weekend throughout the year. We are blessed to have the time and paid holidays on which to visit out of town friends and family. Nonetheless, it means that we tend to come back from every holiday weekend beat from the travel. Our kids are waiting for us to perfect the Beam-me-up,Scotty technology that will eliminate 6+ hours one-way in the car to grandma's house. Until then, books on tape and patience are the rule. For this 4th of July holiday, no one was hurt by our rejecting the invite and we promised to plan to take a vacation day here and there in July and August to create our own low-traffic holiday-weekend.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 10:31 AM

Rockville Mom at 10:06, that's where I'm coming from. We plan to travel on long weekends to see friends and family. Whereas some people were thankful not to have to plana trip for this Fourth, my hubby and I were sad that we didn't have a long weekend to travel with, so we had to use vacation time.

SLP, that sounds nice. Several of my neighbors did the same thing, much to the dismay of my dog. I was actually a little peeved when the celebrating went on past midnight. I mean, everyone had to work the next day. But it's one night a year, so I just fell asleep with my earplugs and a scowl.

Posted by: Meesh | July 6, 2007 10:33 AM

Meesh, I'm with you. Some neighbor was setting off fireworks within several blocks of us 'til 1 a.m. Sheesh. It's not as though there aren't many, many easy to attend local displays, nor are we in a mixed-use zoned area. Oh well.

Posted by: MN | July 6, 2007 10:43 AM

I think it's just that the people who are competitive in everything else have the same approach to parenting.

Or, it has nothing to do with parenting and people just like to get away and it's an excuse. But then you actually think about how much work it is to take the kids and you reconsider.

Posted by: atlmom | July 6, 2007 10:44 AM

Anyone have any insight on why parenting has become so competitive?

Posted by: Curious | July 6, 2007 10:03 AM

I'll hazard a guess. The stakes seem higher than ever before. We don't know WHAT will almost guarantee a decent standard of living, 20 years hence. And none of us want to feel as though we didn't try to prepare the kids for it.

Remember when it seemed as though IT jobs were the sure-fire way to get a good job and be employable? Turned out to be the equivalent of broom making!

Now, is it true? I don't know. I am trying NOT to fret about it too much. I'll provide them with the basics and some more besides (as long as we don't hit my personal bottom--powdered milk), continue to insist they do things they don't enjoy (put your dish in the dishwasher, vacuum, pick up the debris field you leave in your wake, write thank-you letters, talk about how sex is an emotional minefield as well as being high stakes physically, insist that homework be done FIRST, etc.) and hope for the best.

I guess the difference is anxiety. I am doing the best that I can, at this time, given what I know and my energy. I am not doing a perfect job and I am NOT devoting 100% of my energy to raising them. But I am comfortable with my decisions. I hope that in the future I will feel the same way, that they will be functional adults with plenty of practice at learning new skills.

*crosses fingers*

The 4th was low-key. The only thing that got me wound up was my parade horse later needed 1cc of banamine. Good thing I have it on hand. Everything was a "go" after that.

"Transformers" was fun. I enjoyed it more because I didn't pay for the tickets.

Skipped the fireworks. 5 a.m. comes faster than I like!

Posted by: Maryland Mother | July 6, 2007 10:45 AM

Atlmom -- I agree with you. I always ask before embarking on a trip or adventure, "How much work is it to going to be to relax?"

Posted by: Arlington Dad | July 6, 2007 10:47 AM

"Meesh, I'm with you. Some neighbor was setting off fireworks within several blocks of us 'til 1 a.m. Sheesh. It's not as though there aren't many, many easy to attend local displays, nor are we in a mixed-use zoned area. Oh well."

Same here. I called the cops on 'em.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 10:48 AM

"Anyone have any insight on why parenting has become so competitive?

Posted by: Curious | July 6, 2007 10:03 AM"

I don't know that this is "competitive" in a "keeping-up-with-the-Joneses" kind of way. I got the feeling it was more about wanting your kids to have the kind of childhood you had -- or wished you had. If you grew up going to the beach house every holiday, and you treasure those memories, wouldn't you want your kids to be able to build those same memories? Or if you saw all of your friends going off to OC for the summer but your family couldn't afford to go, wouldn't you want to give your kids all of the things that you didn't get to experience?

But the flip side is, when you were a kid, you didn't see the amount of planning and hassle and effort and money it took to provide those experiences, how much of a hassle it is to try to plan everything on top of your regular life. No, you just got in the car and carped with your brother or sister about what a long, hot, boring car ride it was. When you become mom or dad, you discover the true "joys" of summer travel, but you figure that the planning and the hassle and the annoyance is just the price you have to pay to give your kids that "perfect" summer. But if you suddenly CAN'T schedule anything -- like, say, the 4th falls on a Wednesday and you can't take two extra days off work -- well, I can see how you'd be relieved to avoid that.

I think we should go easy on Leslie's friend, because it's pretty easy to fall into the trap of pressuring yourself to provide some picture-perfect ideal of a childhood for your own kids. It's just that that mental picture is different from everyone (for me, sitting in traffic on 404 or 95 would be a version of hell, not a childhood idyll). Personally, my guilt is that I didn't spend much time on summer camp selection and just sent my daughter to her school's camp -- now I see friends' and relatives' kids doing all of this stuff that I didn't even know existed, and I'm kind of kicking myself for not having done that, and am determined to get her a real camp-camp next year, with swimming and fishing and macrame and all that stuff.

Posted by: Laura | July 6, 2007 10:55 AM

In our defense, we started our fireworks at 8:30 and were done by 9:15. Everyone had gone home by 9:30. The kids (and us adults)had to get to bed!

Posted by: SLP | July 6, 2007 11:02 AM

Great Friday topic!

On the competition thing....I don't actually think the competition/anxiety is about trying to get your kids to have the childhood they had, I think its about getting their kids to have the childhood that they did *NOT* have.

They want to make up for all the attention that they think they did not rightly receive from their own parents, by lavishing it on their own kids - somehow, thinking that will make up for all the imperfections in their own life. Too bad that it never really does.

Posted by: Mom in Silver Spring | July 6, 2007 11:15 AM

SLP, will you be my neighbor, LOL??

Posted by: MN | July 6, 2007 11:15 AM

A great thing happened at the small-town picnic/fireworks I went to on the 4th. I was shooting baskets with some kids, and there was a little girl of about four who was trying to get the ball in the basket, but her shots fell way short (it was a kiddy basket, but still very high for her). I gave her some tips, but still the ball never got close. However, this girl, in her cute little dress and patent leather shoes, just kept trying and trying. Finally, the ball went in! Then she kept at it and at it until she was shooting three in a row. I then got her into a pickup game with me and her against two elementary school boys. The boys cut her a break and allowed her to "travel". After we were done, she went back to practicing by herself. What a kid!

Posted by: Diane, Baltimore | July 6, 2007 11:19 AM

MN, where do you live?

Posted by: SLP | July 6, 2007 11:24 AM

SLP, in the Triangle (NC), but we can be virtual neighbors anywhere :>)

You should know that my husband and I have established the low bar for lawn maintenance, but we're really good neighbors on a personal level, e.g., we'll watch your kids any time; we probably won't be seen weeding during this lifetime.

Posted by: MN | July 6, 2007 11:32 AM

To celebrate July 4, I farted in the Leslie's general direction. Unfortunately, my blast was lost in the maelstrom of methane emanating from the multitudes who regularly choke this so-called forum with their virtual greenhouse gases.

Posted by: Mister Methane | July 6, 2007 11:34 AM

We technically live in the South -- Arlington, VA. No where near NC in many ways!

You sound like you and your family would make perfect neighbors -- basic lawn maintenance (why bother with more?) and babysitting -- truly perfection!

Posted by: SLP | July 6, 2007 11:39 AM

I don't like going away for any holiday. Traffic sucks. Thanksgiving traffic, sucks. 4th of July traffic, sucks. Memorial day traffic, sucks. I have issued a moratorium on going away for most holidays, though I am forced to leave for Christmas and Thanksgiving some years.

So I was happy to spend the Fourth at home in Rockville. We had a parade in our neighborhood and a moon bounce. We decorated our stroller and our son's bike for the parade. We had a barbecue at lunch time, so we missed the rain. We played outside, and then all took a nap. My son, age 3, made it for the Rockville fireworks and montgomery college. We could see them from the park in our neighborhood, which was nice.

Posted by: Cliff | July 6, 2007 11:47 AM

My birthday was the third, so I took off two days and enjoyed the scorching Arizona summer : )

On the fourth...I tailgated with a friend out on the Indian reservation...a vast stretch of desert a half-mile from my house. We watched the fireworks display put on by the Gila River Indian Community and shared a bottle of red wine, then pulled out the telescope to star gaze afterward. No traffic, no mess...just fun.

Posted by: single western mom | July 6, 2007 12:03 PM

Why didn't you include your child?

Posted by: To single western mom | July 6, 2007 12:20 PM

single western mom - wow! for the first time reading this blog, I am jealous of someone, LOL. You came up with a great agenda. I'm glad the weather worked in your favor.

Posted by: MN | July 6, 2007 12:24 PM

Why didn't you include your child?

Posted by: To single western mom | July 6, 2007 12:20 PM

1) She didn't say she didn't include her child

2) Since when is everything about the children, at all times?

3) For all any of us know, her child was spending the night with their best friend in the world and had begged and begged and BEGGED for this for weeks

4) Oh, never mind.

Posted by: to 12:20 | July 6, 2007 12:27 PM

Today's blog is all about FAMILY 4th of July, not date night.

Posted by: To 12:27 | July 6, 2007 12:36 PM

Today's blog is all about FAMILY 4th of July, not date night.

Posted by: To 12:27 | July 6, 2007 12:36 PM

To which you contributed what, exactly, about your own family 4th night? Not a syllable.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 12:39 PM

Where's YOUR contribution about your own family 4th? Pot, meet kettle.

Posted by: To 12:39 | July 6, 2007 12:42 PM

Today's blog is all about FAMILY 4th of July, not date night.

Posted by: To 12:27 | July 6, 2007 12:36 PM

now that you are shouting, we know that your concept of family, let alone permissible comments, is so friggin' narrow, we'll ignore you.

Thanks for not telling us about your boring cookout, 2.3 above average children, and granny missing her teeth.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 12:43 PM

Why didn't you include your child?

Posted by: To single western mom | July 6, 2007 12:20 PM

you ask because . . . .?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 12:45 PM

Just an observation: there are people on this blog whose posts are seriously IDIOTIC.

MN, are you my doppelganger? I loathe yardwork, so I don't do it, and it shows. We will never qualify for the lawn olympics . . .

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 6, 2007 12:45 PM

Who's to say I didn't? In fact, I did. I simply don't feel like responding with my handle to you.

In fact, I feel all dirty, responding to an anonymous nit-picker at all. Shame on me.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 12:47 PM

Don't worry. The 12:20 post was by some poor SAHM that couldn't get away from her child. The holiday meant nothing to her...same old stuff day after day.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 12:47 PM

Yes, my daughter had plans of her own with her best friend. Her best friend's dad died last week...so she is spending a lot of time with this girl right now.

My plans were very last minute...

Posted by: single western mom | July 6, 2007 12:48 PM

why, yes, WorkingMomX, LOL.

We earn neighbor-points in other ways, like keeping the village's kids on trikes alive (and offering band-aids when truly necessary - okay, whenever) while those compelled to offer their kids a home-cooked dinner in the middle of July can go slave away in the kitchen. To each his own priority.

Posted by: MN | July 6, 2007 12:49 PM

As I'm sure single western mom can attest, it was HOT on the 4th.

Our neighborhood hit 116 degrees.

My family spent the day in the house, blinds closed, air on. DD and I played Battleship and baked homemade brownies for a class party.

Very quiet and relaxing day.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | July 6, 2007 12:55 PM

"Same here. I called the cops on 'em."

Spoilsport - It's only once a year. If they set off fireworks on other days, call the cops then.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 1:07 PM

I'm sure the 911 operator is familiar with this man's or woman's number. He or she probably calls the cops when a neighbor mows the lawn at 7:30 on the weekend, too. and whenever anything else isn't exactly to her liking. The police officers pulled up, said, wrap it up soon, folks. When we come back in 2 hours, if it's still going on, we'll have to warn you.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 1:20 PM

I generally stay close to home on the beach holidays (my parents have a place in OC, but none of us wants to go there on the 4th -- because of the traffic on 50 and on Coastal Highway).

I used to love the 4th. The community where I grew up had a huge parade (one of those where all the politicians show up) and we always went. After cooking out at my grandparents (they lived two blocks from the parade route) we went to the fireworks at the junior high. Lots of good, old-fashioned fun. This year, son #2 worked, my folks went to a big party (we were invited, but we didn't feel like going to what STBX referred to as a booze-fest -- which was a pleasant surprise), and we had hot dogs, fruit salad, potato salad and brownies. Our community fireworks were on Saturday, so we just hung out on the porch (it was raining here) and listened to people try to light off firecrackers in the rain.

I hate, hate, *hate* holiday travel these days. When I lived in Georgia and North Carolina, I traveled on almost ALL the major holidays. In six years, I had exactly ONE Christmas in my own home, and NO Thanksgivings. I even ended up at home over the 4th (but I scheduled my travel for off-times). Up and down 95/85...and I don't miss one mile of it. I just don't know how long-haul truckers do it!

Posted by: educmom | July 6, 2007 1:44 PM

"Up and down 95/85...and I don't miss one mile of it. I just don't know how long-haul truckers do it!"

With a rubber donut, a strategically placed jug and two sets of books (the time s/he is really driving, the time you show the cops).

I bet you don't miss it, not one teeny, tiny littlest bit!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 1:48 PM

This post goes down as the biggest snoozer of ALL TIME!!!

No posts for an hour and 10 minutes!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 2:00 PM

I slept late until about 9:30 - 10:00 or so. Got a leisurely brunch while listening to Andrea Bocelli on CD. Worked in the yard, cleaned up my flower beds, mulched my roses. Took a nice long cooling shower. Sat on the front porch with a glass of wine, candles and fireflies, and watched a neighbor's fireworks going out over the water. Then watched a favorite movie on DVD before drifting off to sleep.

Too bad we can't have every Wednesday off. Work 2, off 1, work 2, off 2.

Posted by: Anon for today | July 6, 2007 2:00 PM

"This post goes down as the biggest snoozer of ALL TIME!!!

No posts for an hour and 10 minutes!!!""

And most of the posts are big YAWNS!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 2:06 PM

This post goes down as the biggest snoozer of ALL TIME!!!

No posts for an hour and 10 minutes!!!

Posted by: | July 6, 2007 02:00 PM

I guess everybody went home early from work...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 2:11 PM

I bet you don't miss it, not one teeny, tiny littlest bit!

Posted by: | July 6, 2007 01:48 PM

Not one mile marker!!

Posted by: educmom | July 6, 2007 2:12 PM

""This post goes down as the biggest snoozer of ALL TIME!!!

No posts for an hour and 10 minutes!!!""

And most of the posts are big YAWNS!""

Well, we can always talk about breastfeeding!

Posted by: Fred | July 6, 2007 2:13 PM

Anyone have any good plans for the weekend? I'm already (!) Trying to set up playdates with kids who will be in kindergarten with my son in the fall (well, not fall really-mid august). Don't think we'll get one in this weekend but maybe next.

Posted by: atlmom | July 6, 2007 2:13 PM

Thanks for the advice, to: foamgnome.

I agree that this is a real snoozer of a blog today. I don't understand something about Leslie. Tuesday is the guest blog. Thursday is Brian Reid. Friday, she just phones it in. So, that leaves what? Two days where she actually does a blog?

Posted by: foamgnome | July 6, 2007 2:15 PM

foamy

"I don't understand something about Leslie. Tuesday is the guest blog. Thursday is Brian Reid. Friday, she just phones it in. So, that leaves what? Two days where she actually does a blog?"

The blog isn't Leslie's main gig.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 2:21 PM

The blog isn't Leslie's main gig.

And it shows.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 2:23 PM

What is Leslie's main gig?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 2:25 PM

Hi Foamgnome!

*waves vigourously*

Have you taken delightful daughter to Glen Echo to ride the carousel yet? This might be a really nice weekend to do that, and pick up a kid show in one of the air-conditioned theatres.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | July 6, 2007 2:27 PM

"I guess everybody went home early from work..."

No, but how much can you say about what everyone did on a random day? The only good thing you can say is, at least the level of discourse is generally higher than on the On Parenting blog.

Posted by: MN | July 6, 2007 2:34 PM

Anyone have any good plans for the weekend? I'm already (!) Trying to set up playdates with kids who will be in kindergarten with my son in the fall (well, not fall really-mid august). Don't think we'll get one in this weekend but maybe next.

Posted by: atlmom | July 6, 2007 02:13 PM

atlmom, I'm curious. Is your son friends with these kids? Or are you trying to jump-start a friendship or two so that he knows kids at school when the year starts?

Posted by: MN | July 6, 2007 2:44 PM

My parents came to us this year which was
nice. We spent the day at our pool and
DD played with three little girls in the water.

We enjoyed the fireworks from our roof top in the rain. We missed the sing-along but
maybe next year.

How do you know who be in your son's kindergarten? My DD had an orientation but they did not know her classmates yet. She may not have a teacher until a week before she starts.

She did meet a neighbor who is starting first grade and they promised to sit together on the bus for the first day.

Posted by: shdd | July 6, 2007 2:51 PM

No, I don't know who's in DS's class yet-just kids who are in the kindergarten. Honestly, between our block, his (years ago)playgroups and his preK class, he knows a bunch of kids who will be in kindergarten with him. But, he may have forgotten them.
But it's so he can become familiar with the kids before school starts. He's bound to know someone in the class, but there will be somerhing like 18 classes this fall, so there will be a lot of kids.

Some of the kids we'll meet he knows from other stuff, but some he doesn't. I figure it can't hurt to have them all meet before the 'big' day.

Posted by: atlmom | July 6, 2007 3:00 PM

"18 classes this fall" Is that a typo? That would seriously be a big school!

Posted by: SLP | July 6, 2007 3:09 PM

Not a typo everyone else and their mother knew that not only are people moving into atlanta, but they're moving with kids. Of course, atlanta public schools stuck their head in the sand for years( to be fair, they have other stuff to worry about *and* parents didn't want to complain too loudly cause they were afraid of redistricting). So, every closet, every corner, has been turned into a classroom.

However, the school system this past year finally bought some property and now there is a kindergarten annex. So, for (what they say is) two yrs, there will be an annex while they renovate to create a K-5 school-they actually bought a private school that moved, so there is more than one bldg-so the kids will be in one while they renovate the other. I think they're doing a fantastic job, actually, and part of the consequences are going to be that in a few yrs, not all of those kids will still be together which is good and bad.

Posted by: atlmom | July 6, 2007 3:39 PM

I feel so fortunate -- my children's school has about 440 and that includes PRE-K thru grade 5. It says a lot though if a school system is going through such tremendous growth and change, yet you are praising how they are handling it!

Posted by: SLP | July 6, 2007 3:55 PM

Our elem is great- which was why they didn't do a whole lot until they ansolutely had to. As I said, my older son will be in first grade at the school as it is then they will supposedly have another k-5 and the school will be back down to its capacity, about 350-400 or so. They have done a phenomenal job over the last few yrs dealing with all those kids-there is a reason that parents are moving into my district (and that housing prices are ridiculous).

Posted by: atlmom | July 6, 2007 4:05 PM

Fred,
Stop causing trouble! Besides, I'm sure we'll all be ratcheting it up again when Monday rolls around...

Posted by: educmom | July 6, 2007 4:09 PM

And some of the classrooms are very small -so there will be only 12 students in them. The classes will go up to 18 kids, though.

Posted by: atlmom | July 6, 2007 4:10 PM

If y'all are really bored and need to read someone venting frustration, I'm sure I can do at least 1000 words on the problems I've been having with my pool the past 2 weeks!

Posted by: educmom | July 6, 2007 4:13 PM

Well, it might not give us anything good to read, but it might. Not too many people here, it seems. I'll be leaving soon, actually, as I have a dr's appt.

Posted by: atlmom | July 6, 2007 4:16 PM

What is Leslie's main gig?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2007 4:32 PM

We kept to our long-standing tradition; barbeque at the home of some dear friends (we've known them since before they were married - our 15-y-o is a babbling baby on their wedding video - and their 11-y-o son is best friends with our 10-y-o).

As usual, the food was great, the company was pleasant, our hostess and I got all the kids to crank the ice-cream freezer, and when hubby pulled out his guitar, most everyone joined the sing-along.

After dark, all the hold-outs go up to the hosts' balcony, where we can see San Francisco, Berkeley, (not Oakland this year), Marin, and lots of non-official fireworks displays.

I love this holiday!

Posted by: Sue | July 6, 2007 5:45 PM

98 previous entries.
As Otter said in Animal House,
"a new low".

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2007 5:09 AM

One Hundred!

Posted by: Fred | July 7, 2007 7:56 AM

And I'm 101!

Posted by: Leslie | July 8, 2007 5:01 PM

I wanted to be 101!

Posted by: Dalmations | July 8, 2007 5:58 PM

Dalmations is a dork.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 8, 2007 7:07 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2007 The Washington Post Company