The 4th of July is typically a day full of fun with family and friends. So why the sad faces on these two little girls?
One 4th of July when my sister and I were little- around the ages of 4 and 6-- we were playing outside with the other kids in the neighborhood right around the time the sun started to go down. Several of the kids talked excitedly about going to see the fireworks. I wanted to go. My sister, Trina, also wanted to go but she said that we had to ask.
I do not know why I refused to go home with my sister to ask. Perhaps I assumed they would say no. Or, maybe I thought we would miss part of the show if we did not just go. Whatever rationale my 4-year-old mind came up with, I was determined to go. So I simply started to follow the other kids.
Trina, my big sis, was my protector. She would not allow me go alone even though she was worried the whole time that we would get in trouble. After watching the fireworks for a little while she finally demanded that we go home. She grabbed my hand and practically dragged me all the way home.
By the time we got home it was completely dark out, and our parents were anxiously waiting. As you can imagine they were relieved that we were safe. They were also angry. My mom was the disciplinarian. I recall my sister and I sitting on the green sofa we had in the living room. My mother was yelling and we were crying. I do not need to say that my sister was mad at me for quite some time.
While that 4th of July did not end with us smiling, I smile when I think about that day. I think about the adventure of sneaking off to see the fireworks with the rest of the kids. I also think about my big sister tagging along to protect me knowing that she was risking getting in trouble. And I think about seeing my parents faces when we finally returned home-- that mixture of relief, worry, and anger. In other words, the faces of parental love.