An Australian 4th of July

There are so many things I love about Australia: the beaches, the weird animals, the sun, the slang, the nicknames, the proximity to Asia, the free public health care, the surf culture, and the dusty outback…

But it’s times like these that I miss America. {Oh, July 4th, you are so fun… so beautiful.}

If I could just teleport my family to the Land of the Free for this weekend I would be elated. What I wouldn’t give for my hometown’s 4th of July pancake breakfast in the park… the Kids, Bikes, and Pet Parade… the Jazz and Blues festival… the Freedom Ride (where the streets are taken over with an informal mass of young people on their cruisers), and a BBQ and fireworks at the neighborhood block party.

But this 4th of July is just another Sunday here in Australia. {sigh}

One of the things that’s important to Ryan and I is that our children grow up with an understanding—and love—for both of our home cultures. This is why we try really hard to celebrate American holidays in our own way, even if we are in the Land Down Under. (Therefore Thanksgiving is huge in this little family’s household as well!)

I want to do my best to not only celebrate these special American holidays, but to impart the meaning of them to my children.

And as for Independence Day, my hope is that Levi grows up knowing how privileged he is to hold that American passport (along with his Aussie one!) and all that it represents: hard-working and determined pioneers, creativity, invention, civil rights, the freedom of choice, religion, and speech… and so much more.

So this was our 4th of July this year… Just look at the ridiculous outfit I subjected my son to:

{I’m pretty sure he won’t thank me later…
but we all enjoyed a good giggle at his expense.}

As you know we work with lots internationals… and many of them are American. A few of us piled into our little back yard for a good old potluck BBQ today, including some juicy watermelon slices, sparklers for the kids, and a smattering of red, white, and blue. Even our Canadian friend Kate was showing her love for America:

Though it wasn’t the same as if we’d been in State-side, our version was fun nonetheless. No doubt Levi will be glad to get to celebrate two sets of holidays growing up. See how his daddy got into it with his special jello dessert? My America-lovin’ rockstar hubs thought this up without my prompting and made it for all of us to enjoy:

{Isn’t that so cute of him?}

Happy Independence Day to you. Hope it’s full of sparkly sparklers, cool cups of ice tea, bright stars and bold stripes, and some good times with your friends and family.

Love, an American in Australia

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