Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Fourth of July

"Two Hundred and Twenty-Seven years ago a bunch of guys got together on the fourth of July and decided --- because they didn't have any cherry bombs --- they would declare some self-evident truths." - President Josiah Bartlett, in The West Wing: Jefferson Lives

And oddly enough, we're at 237 now.  Two hundred and thirty seven years ago, men risked their lives to sign a document that, as Jed put it, declared some self-evident truths. Like every year around this time, I feel a queer mix of total infatuation and happiness about some of the elements of my country, and total disgust and grief over others, just like most people who are paying attention.  Could be the things I'm celebrating are the things you're grieving, but as they say, it's a free country.

This year, Maeve is beginning to get it.  She knows we live in a place called America, though she may confuse it with our city or state, tricky concepts, really.  We made an American flag yesterday, and I told her today was a special day, the day our country came into existence.  I even used the phrase America's Birthday, which I sort of regretted, since there will be no cake or presents.  But she seems to almost comprehend, and that's a long way from last year when I would have gotten a blank look for that explanation.

Am I teaching her to love her country?  Well.  I am teaching her what there is to love about her country, and hopefully that is enough.  After all, we watched West Wing together for her first five months on the planet - it was what I put on during marathon nursing sessions - so I hope she got some good influences of educated patriotism in there.  And I do love this place, like a person truly loves anything, with open eyes and an open heart.

Oh, and no post tomorrow, we'll still be up in the mountains.  Have a wonderful 4th!

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