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the mommyhood memos: an australian 4th of july

Monday, July 5, 2010

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.


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!)

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.} 

Because of our work with YWAM, 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, some watermelon, sparklers for the kids, and a smattering of red, white, and blue. Even my Canadian friend Kate was showing the love:

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.

Dear mommy friends, do you have cultural heritage that you are trying to impart into your children? What does this look like for you?

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At July 5, 2010 at 4:52 AM , Blogger Cameron said...

I love this!! So fun!! My husband has wanted to go to Australia ever since I first met him! I think it's awesome that you all are that & that you're still celebrating American holidays!! The 4th is definitely really fun around here!! :-)

At July 5, 2010 at 6:10 AM , Anonymous Jessica Anne said...

What a great tradition! And I love the outfit. My girls are half Japanese. Since we live in LA there are actually a lot of Japanese festivals to go to, so we do. We celebrate Girls' Day and try to teach them about that side of their family. I grew up with strong Norwegian influences, so I try to follow some of those traditions, especially around Christmas.

At July 5, 2010 at 4:33 PM , Blogger Kris said...

I just loved this post. Because we live long stints of time outside the US we too like to make these Holidays even more special to our kids. I always try to have goodies for that specific Holiday that we will be missing at home. I think they are young enough still not to realize what they are missing, but we do like to make memories wherever we are. Thankfully they had a 4th of July celebration in Moscow which included fireworks. So, off we went to explore. It was fun for all. The only bad thing is having to keep the kids up so late to watch the fireworks (it doesn't get dark here until close to 11pm), but it was a special treat for them and we all got to sleep in the next day.

Happy 4th to you and your family! Do you ever plan to live back in the States?

At July 6, 2010 at 12:46 AM , Blogger Amy Sullivan said...

Hands down cutest baby pic (in your header with the red shoes and the scale) that I have ever seen. So glad to meet you in the crazy blogosphere!

At July 6, 2010 at 1:47 AM , Blogger Shawntae said...

the 4th of July was so much fun here this weekend because everyone celebrated it all weekend long!! I am so tired from it all.

Thats awesome you had a little bit of your own 4th of July over there. :)

Kingston is 6 months old. He was born a month early though so maybe him and your little Levi would have been born around the same time?
Levi is so so cute! You should be very proud.

Thank you for stopping by my blog to say hello! I can't wait to read more of yours.

At July 7, 2010 at 8:13 AM , Blogger Aspiring Napper said...

Even though ours is not a cross-cultural family, my husband and I have adopted some things from our ex-pat life in Japan, like our daughter's nickname (we use the honorific 'chan'), for example). This helps us feel connected to Japan, our Japanese friends and our experience there.


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