I hate the 4th of July, and for some pretty good reasons. Please don't misunderstand. It's not that I hate America, although sometimes I do hate our government and its policies, the racial, gender, social, and economic disparity experienced by its citizens, and the current administration. It's just that I don't feel like celebrating our country right now, and honestly, I hate most of the traditions that go along with it. There are actually many reasons I'm not celebrating the 4th of July this year, both silly and serious, but all legit.
Most of the time, I feel lucky and privileged to have been born in the United States. I appreciate the efforts of our founding fathers to try to create their Utopian version of a country where "all men are created equal," and further attempts throughout our country's history to make "all men" actually mean "all people," both successful and unsuccessful. We are so not there yet, and in the past few months we seem to be sliding backwards.
Then there's the fact that, as a mom on 4th of July, I am a ball of anxiety and a major buzz kill. I hate standing outside in hot weather and getting covered in mosquito bites, while literally handing my kids fire and explosives on purpose, and then having to manage their fun like a helicopter mom so they don't hurt themselves or each other. I hate crowds, traffic, and loud noises, so going to the city fireworks display is no fun either. Also, I have a baby. That means that I am likely to be up with him well past our town's midnight cut off for setting off fireworks, because no one listens to the rules.
So, If you need me on the 4th, I will be hiding under a blanket with my baby, unapologetically eating apple pie and refusing to join the celebratory festivities. Here are a few reasons why: