I have just made myself homesick. This annual event occurs on the Fourth of July. I try to find other things to do. I try to find NOTHING to do–depending on the year. I always end up in front of the TV at 8 pm ET, no matter what time zone I am in and watch PBS. A Capitol Fourth comes on. I see the audience that for nearly two decades included me. I see the cute kids and have flash backs of being one of those cute kids. (because aren’t all children hot, tired, dressed in red, white and blue, and having at least some fun cute?)
The Capitol lawn in the Nation’s Capital, a free concert–with someone for everyone from the youngest to the oldest. Fireworks over the Lincoln Memorial, backdrop to the Washington Monument.
They play the National Anthem and I want to click my heels together and say “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” My eyes water and I want to be a big snotty weepy woman which of course, I refuse.
I want my Dad on the Fourth. I want a lime fizz. I want to complain about the gravel in my shoes from the National Mall. I want to hear the Declaration of Independence on the Archive stairs, AGAIN. I want to get up early and watch a parade that I tended to loathe. I want to peruse the festival of American Folklife. I want to wander into the American History museum and see Old Glory and the plumbing display. I want to complain about the heat. I want to wait in line for the bathrooms at the Botanical Gardens (last flush and running water before you get to the lawn.) I want to grab a bomb pop from a truck. I want to drag my cooler on my last legs on the West lawn of the Capitol, throw down a blanket, drink a Coke, eat cucumber, feta and tomato salad, Pringles and Chips Ahoy (the Pringles and Chips Ahoy were ONLY ever had on the Fourth in our family–ok Pringles sometimes went on car trips).
Most of all, I want to be surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people who believe in this–all of this country–the good, the bad, and know that the dream is alive, the reasons for the country and how it works remain sound, and know that all of those others converge in that place, on that day, because they are proud to be Americans, because they want to be Americans, because they love the place that America is and the place that America represents.