Friday, July 6, 2012

Fun Family 4th

There are few times our water babies miss the ocean more than when the temperatures soar into triple digits. But if ever there was a good reason to sit in a landlocked steam room, it was to be with our large, loving family in the Chicago suburbs for the 4th of July.

One of my life's greatest blessings is having a big family. My siblings and I number 5 and we have about a hundred first cousins, almost all of whom are very close (in spirit, if not geographically). Sharing that tight family connection with my kids is really important to me. It is one of the biggest reasons we travel so much. With a family this size it seems someone is always having a party. (Or as one of our less-socially-inclined family members put it: "You guys have more parties than Barack Obama!")

Unlike the other events (baptisms, communions, birthdays, bat mitzvahs, weddings, Christmas, Hanukkah, Halloween, etc...) where advance preparations have to be made and people are generally a bit stressed out and super-busy, with the 4th of July we all just show up (with Puerto Rican rice or potato salad or carne asada in hand, of course)! It is the most relaxed family gathering we have (except, perhaps, for my parents who graciously host every year). As our family has grown and travel costs are ever-rising it isn't always easy to get here, but it is well worth the trip to reconnect with everyone year after year.

So, the northbound part of our New Mexico to Wisconsin trip ended with a bang; literally! It was a scorcher, with Chicago-area temperatures reaching 103 degrees. But the fireworks dazzled and the connections made and renewed were good for the soul.

Happy Birthday America! I hope everyone is surrounded by love and fun as we all try to beat the summer heat!

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