Mary would like to wish you a happy Fourth of July and to say that she is definitely not related to those two children beating each other in the park. No sir-ee-bob.
She also to know if we are freaking serious with that hat.
As always, we did the big neighborhood parade. Here are Mary and James hanging around waiting for it to start, while we talked about how nice the weather was for July 4 with our neighbors. I mean, a high of NINETY-FIVE is just UNHEARD of in July. This will not make sense to my friends from The North so you will just have to trust me. Normally by now it is hitting ninety-five around ten o'clock in the morning and by three o'clock it is too hot to swim. I feel like I'm on vacation.
Parade is moving! Barely! Note Wes with his hands-free popsicle, James with his helmet still on long after Ryan took his bike to the car when we realized we weren't going to get to the end of the 1/4 mile parade route before dark.
Afterward was the traditional spraying of the children with the firehose. Ryan and I missed it because we were standing by the judges table hoping Mary would win Judges' Favorite. She didn't but I think that's because the MC thought she was a *beauty queen* WTH. Charley and Wes, however, did make it to the firehose.
And then we had a massive public fight and threatened to take away the pancake breakfast which we then had to give back because WE TAKE THE PICTURE ON THE FIRETRUCK EVERY YEAR. TRADITION > DISCIPLINE, LESSON LEARNED.
Actually what worked is me pointing to a sobbing Wes, lying prostrate on the sidewalk by his bike a good six car lengths away from us and telling Charley through gritted teeth "YOU FIX THIS AND WE CAN HAVE PANCAKES. YOU HURT HIM AND NOW YOU FIGURE IT OUT." He stalked off and a few minutes later they walked up to the car, Charley pushing Wes's bike, Wes sniffling softly, and by the time we got to the firestation all was forgotten (by the children, I was still pissed). I can't even spin this fight in a funny way, which is surprising given the cartoonish way Charley rammed his bike into Wes's then jumped off as though propelled by some unseen hand and smacked him hard on the back, totally unprovoked, the culmination of an entire morning of shitty attitude and complaining. HAPPY FOURTH WHO WANTS A PATRIOTIC FRUIT SKEWER?! Or the way I somehow managed to lift seventy pounds of Charley off of Wes with one arm while yelling at him to stop RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY NEIGHBOR (who came over later to ask if I'd started drinking yet). I'm just so weary.
But you know what? WE GOT THE PICTURE SO TAKE THAT, LOVE AND LOGIC.
Let's start with just Charlie in 2008.
And adding in Baby Wes in 2009.
Slightly more grown up Charlie and Wes in 2010.
2011 we missed because we were on an airplane to Maine, so this one is funny because SURPRISE! A TODDLER!
And in 2013 we were all mad at each other due to low blood sugar, so there was no chummy arms around shoulders nonsense. Special memories!
In 2014, BOOM another baby! And a sullen teenager type!
We spent the rest of the day swimming in all the wading pools between my and my neighbor's yards, eating, and hanging out with my dad and some friends. And then, of course, fireworks. Everyone managed to keep all their digits. Another successful Fourth.