I've been reading the book America is by Louise Borden to my oldest daughter all week in effort to explain the Fourth of July. The book forces the reader to sing the Star Spangled Banner, which just so happens to be her favorite song at the moment. It's a perfect intoduction to understanding what is the United States of America- maybe not understanding it, but at least discussing it.
Today we went to the typical parties. Well, at least the first party was fairly typical (not to be sounding ungrateful- the food was wonderful! And the house is amazing!). It was out in the suburbs, although not seeming so since they have a lot of land, an old old house, and no neighbors. Anyway, we brought our dish, along with our two fussy children. We ate, watched the water balloon fights, chatted, and left in time to make it to the other party we attend every year.
The next party is not typical. It's held in the city, but in the city where the plots of land and houses are rather large, making it seem semi- rural. The party is hosted by one of my old bosses from my corporate world days. This guy "Howie" who hosts the party every year is one of those people that knows everyone. You can't walk through ANY city without him saying "hey, I went to school with her, I worked with him",- you know the type. So he has this party every year, where there are hundreds of kids and adults, and he seems to be able to entertain them all. One year he had a popular kid's musician playing (don't ask me the name, you have to trust me that he is famous). He always has custom made Coozies for the party to ensure that no one is drinking a cold beer- without his name on it.
My favorite part of the party is the giant slip and slide he builds every year. He covers the hill in his back yard with a HUGE sheet of plastic in the manner of Christo. Kids spend the entire party going down the giant water slide. Of course an occasional adult will go down it too, but they always seem to get injured due to the speed they pick up, and the body weight vs. gravity.
My kids have yet to partake in the slide, but they really had a great time watching the other children slide into the mud pit at the bottom of the hill.
Fireworks are viewed from the front yard of his house, but we have yet to stay to see the grand display due to the age of our youngest.