Happy 4th. We
aren’t celebrating America’s birthday this year, and quite honestly, the
day often passes with little fanfare around here, since we are usually up to our eyeballs
with end-of-year activities for school. 
And this year is no different. 

A couple of
years ago, however, school ended in time for us to make it to the States to
celebrate the holiday, and we had wonderful time, more than making up for all
the 4th of July celebrations that we’d missed.

Since it was
the first time I’d been to the States for the 4th of July in more
than a decade, and the first time ever for Miss P and Miss V, we couldn’t have
chosen a better place than Washington, DC to celebrate. We enjoyed the
requisite cookout with family in the area – grandparents, aunts and uncles and
cousins – followed by a few fireworks

The sparklers
didn’t sparkle very long.  There was very
little bang for the buck, so to speak, and the kids weren’t very
impressed.  It would have been more fun
for them if it had been dark, but we had to get the party the started and
finished before bedtime approached for some of the younger kids. 

After the
cookout and the sparklers, we went to the National Mall to watch the fireworks
there.  Sitting on our blanket on
the mall that night, I saw the great American melting potone nation under
– personified. On either side of my multiracial family sat a family speaking
a language I couldn’t identify, and a family of muslims, with the women in
hijabs and the men wearing taqiyahs

As we all
watched the bombs bursting in air with spectacular color, and listened to Louis
Armstrong over the load speaker, I also thought to myself, “What a Wonderful