We were pretty chill on the 4th. When you have little kids you can’t exactly skip a holiday altogether, so we went to the park in the morning, got ice cream in the afternoon, and had hot dogs for dinner. (I had a gardenburger.)
There were pop-its. The toddler woke up at 5:45 and didn’t nap, so we didn’t even try to see any fireworks in the neighborhood. It was great family time for a Thursday.
The next day, I ran a few errands. “How was your fourth?” a couple people asked.
“Well,” I said each time, “We didn’t feel too excited to celebrate this year.”
Each person relaxed a bit, then tensed. Like I was a safe person to talk to, but they’d just remembered the world wasn’t that safe in general.
“Yeah,” they both said, strangers to me and to each other. “A lot of people felt that way.”