We're pretty worn out from two days of fireworks, walking and general holiday activities. I have stories about throwing up red fanta on the top floor of a parking garage while watching fireworks, guacamole ice cream, and swimming in hotel pools that were no bigger than a bathtub. And I have pictures I could post (though happily, not of the red fanta incident), but I'm too tired to even go find where I stashed the camera and get them off the memory card or to sort through the memory card in my brain... which may be slightly corrupted.

But because I'm cool like dat, (and because it doesn't require my getting out of this chair), I'll share with you The Story of the 4th of July, as told to The Dormouse by Alice and The KingofHearts after a long day of picnicing and fireworks, while lying in the dark in the middle of a community park, waiting for traffic to thin out so we could go home:

"Do you know why we have fireworks and celebrate on the 4th of July?"

Dormouse: "Um... because it's Independence Day?"

"Yes, but do you know what that means?"

Dormouse: "It means you can do stuff by yourself without any help, right?"

"Kind of. But in this case, it means something a little different. A long, long time ago..."

"In a galaxy far, far away..."

"Two hundred and, what, thirty-some-odd?, years ago..."


"We weren't our own country. Our country was owned by England."

"Yeah, but England was kind of a bully to us."

"Well, England was kind of a bully to everyone back then. They've grown up quite a bit since then. But back then, the people in America, didn't like it a whole lot. They didn't want a bully to own their country."

"And they were all, 'Hey England, stop telling us what to do,' but England didn't really care what we said."

"And the people here - that's us - didn't like it, so we decided to be their own country. So we found a bald eagle and plucked out one of his feathers....

"and dipped it in ink..."

"and we used it to write England a letter. And this letter said, 'Hey England, dude. We're gonna be our own country now.'"

"And England was all, 'No way, José.'"

"England was really stubborn about this. They didn't like it when anyone stood up to them."

"Yep, and they said we couldn't be our own country. So we told England, 'Hey! You're not the boss of me!'"

"And England said, 'Oh yeah? Yes, we are. Maybe you'd like five in the eye?'"

"And we said, 'Oh yeah? We'll here's five in YOUR eye... and just for good measure, here's five in your OTHER eye.'"

"And that turned into a big war."

Dormouse: "Who fought in the war?"

"Well, everyone who lived in America. And England sent some armies over on boats."

"But the people here were too smart for them."

"And who do you think won the war?"

Dormouse: "We did?"

"Yep. So every 4th of July, we celebrate the day we told England to suck it, that day back in 1776, by having big celebrations and setting off fireworks."

Dormouse: "Wow."

I find it both fascinating and a sad commentary on our schools, that my sixteen year old stepson learned as much from this discussion as The Dormouse did.