Because Nothing Says “Welcome to America” Like Giving a Two-Year-Old a Flammable Object

Mayumi and Karin were fortunate to arrive in America just days before that big, loud holiday we call Independence Day. It afforded them the perfect opportunity to immediately experience some of the basics of American culture – BBQ, Beer and Fireworks.

We hadn’t planned on a July 4th get together (our deck is still a work in progress)  but, when our friends canceled their weekend getaway plans, we decided to host an impromptu, low key event in our front yard. Leftover pasta salad, pre-made Kebabs and a little grilled Salmon made it a quick and easy spread for 9, so we were able to truly enjoy each others’ company and the fantastic sunshine.

As much as I want our deck to be finished, there is something wonderful about hanging out in our front yard. It seems if you sit there long enough you will have the opportunity to say hello to every single neighbor at one time or another. Some of them stayed for a Popsicle, others to watch our small (legal and child-safe) fireworks display and then others said a quick hello before moving on to their own July 4th celebration. The best part was that Mayumi and Karin were able to meet nearly everyone without having to endure a big party or millions of household visits. And when they went to the park on their own the next day, they were surrounded by our friends instead of a bunch strangers.

Of course the highlight of any July 4th get together is the fireworks. While our neighbors impressive show (purchased across the border) did not start until after dark, we held our own mini show at the child friendly time of 7pm. Sure, the sun was in the middle of the sky, but fun was had by all nonetheless. And the kids were in bed asleep by 9pm. Perfect!

And then after bedtime the real light show began. It’s the wonder the kids were able to sleep at all.