We had a different 4th of July. No sleeping overnight for the teenagers in our family to save a spot for the big Provo parade. No extended family reunion on the 3rd of July in Provo Canyon. No Stadium of Fire–we watched from our balcony all of the fireworks going off in Provo.
We gathered our immediate family on the 3rd and had breakfast, many discussions, laid on a blanket on the lawn while listening to a guitar, talked about the BriggsMyers personality test which I took, and ate more good food at dinner.
Another change is that we were were all wearing masks, even outside. Our newly graduated Emergency Room doctor, said the last two weeks he has seen younger and younger patients get Covid 19 with lasting symptoms like breathing issues, brain fog, and fatigue. It was uncomfortable and we had to adjust. I was touched by his concern for our safety and health, even though it seemed like overkill and something we didn’t want to think about on a holiday.
What was also different was our discussion about what we love about America. Not everyone in my family is thrilled about what is going on with our country. My husband and I were surprised at what we heard. The best part was to know what everyone is thinking, that people can express their views without being shamed or shut down. Mr. Roger’s said, “If it is mentionable, it is manageable”. We need to talk about what is in our hearts.
We always did the fun activities around the 4th of July. I wish I had taught my children, when they were younger, about why we do them. Fireworks and parades are fun, but without the pull of why we are doing it, why celebrating America and what she stands for– being a beacon for freedom, the American Dream (yes, it is still possible), and being a good neighbor to the world, it’s meaningless in the end. It’s just entertainment.
Somehow our good examples of patriotism are not enough anymore. Our children aren’t reading history books for the most part, that remind them of the sacrifices our fore fathers and mothers made, about the battle of good against evil that has been fought for centuries. They are listening to podcasts of current citizens that may not give the whole story on what is going on. It saddens me that so much media focuses on what is wrong with our country instead of what is right.
As Elder Foster of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints says: It’s never too early, and it’s never too late to teach about the Gospel or—patriotism, or anything else that is lovely and of good report. We just have to be able to talk about it, tell our feelings and stories about how important it is. I keep referencing Elder Foster’s talk in this blog only to be reassuring that we can still have an impact on adult children. Our good examples are a blessing to them and give them a star to steer by.