Traditions

The week of the 4th of July seems to be traditionally traditional for most folks. 

I know many people have celebratory potlucks with a particular side of the family, along with traditional fireworks’ viewing place, down to sitting in the same exact spot, drinking the same beer on the same blanket every year. 

Traditions are fantastic. But what happens when you can’t conform to them year after year? 
I’d love to go to my family cottage for our annual family reunion on Lake Michigan every 4th of July, but… life happens… and this year, we have a new nephew to gush all over when we get the opportunity to smother him with love & kisses on the 4th. *teary smile* Delaney is a big sister!!
When you are born into large families like the hubs & I, the likelihood that you’re missing out on something, somewhere is fairly high; it’s impossible to be everywhere at once. Sure, we could try to pack it all in, but when we’ve done that in the past, it’s so stressful that we don’t have nearly as much fun as we do when we commit to one thing. 
Do I feel guilty over being pulled in multiple directions this week, not being able to do everything? 
Of course. I’d love to see as many friends & family as I could… but guilt is a self-imposed emotion, and I will not allow guilt to consume me. I’ve learned to blow-off ignore the judgment from certain people because we can’t do this or that or another thing. 
My kids are my first priority, and I refuse to over-schedule my kids — especially over holidays. 
Think about it. We vow to not over-schedule our kids during the school-year, but hauling them from one place to another, non-stop throughout the course of a few days isn’t good for them either. Or the parents’ sanity, for that matter! And then we end up putting a little too much alcohol on it… and… well… then we have to resist the urge to pass out before the kids! Plus, hangovers at the in-laws are the worst! 
But, the judgments will be thrown our way no matter what we do or don’t do. 
For example, when I told a few people that we wouldn’t be dragging our exhausted family out way past our bedtimes just to watch an hour-long fireworks display with thousands of other cranky kids and drunks blowing off bottle rockets and other now legal fireworks next to our faces… I got a few shocked looks that essentially say… 

“You’re anti-American!” 
Um, no, I just value sleep & sanity. I get that fireworks are fun. I do. And my hometown does put on a fantastic show… but… I just don’t have the urge to fight thousands of people on foot & in my car to impatiently wait to watch shit being blown up. I don’t care how much alcohol I put on the situation, it’s just not worth it to me. 
My family will catch fireworks somewhere at some point this week… and if we don’t, we don’t. 
The beautiful thing about traditions? If you miss out, there’s always next year. 
I hope all of you enjoy a beautiful & relaxing Fourth of July…. however you choose to celebrate it. 

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