My most memorable 4th of July celebrations weren’t actually ever celebrating the birthday of one of my passport countries. Beyond that, most of those memories weren’t even in the USA. I can remember the first time I ever associated lighting off fireworks with July 4th. (And it wasn’t until I was in 5th or 6th grade!) My Jewish friend and her family took me to an Indian reservation that everyone called Boom City. The most exciting part for me was that you could haggle back and forth over price. Other 4th of July’s that have been memorable were in other countries, with a small contingent waving flags or decorating in red, white and blue. Most gracious were the American Airlines flight attendants and gate check in staff who gave me flight wings and stickers. Then there was the patriotic services that my church does, and being Stateside for one of those was always a joy — especially as I was older and grateful for the religious (among others) freedoms that this country I’m meant to call home afford. I’m proud of the opportunities that many people seek here. I remember cartwheels in hospitals, due to my sister being unable to breathe due to her asthma. I remember sitting on a step staring at the ocean in Okinawa listening to country music and taking a run along the beach before making chocolate chip cookies and playing with sparklers. One of the best times was the party at the US Embassy in China. Talk about a birthday party! Or how about celebrating 春节 by watching the movie Independence Day?
On Facebook today, my friend Mike Pollock asked “What does patriotism mean to TCKs?” I wrote a fairly long answer, however, I think that one of the best parts of being a TCK is I can be excited for celebrations of freedom, no matter WHAT the country.
Today I’m in the States, and I’m excited to celebrate. Not so much the 4th of July, as to celebrate friends and family and togetherness. Of celebrating making a home where there are those you couldn’t do life without. Cherishing moments with those I love, and cherishing the independence and freedom that I have in Christ.