As a kid, I remember a time when the Fourth of July was lit up (pun somewhat intended) with excitement. Generally, the picnics and festivities before the sun went down were nice-to-haves, whereas the real experience started with the fireworks.

These days, I find myself far more interested in the time with family and friends during the day -- often considering the fireworks an afterthought a best.

In what has become a tradition, nearly every year, we find ourselves packing our bags and heading to Chautauqua Lake to spend time with family and friends. We also take some time to see the lake become wrapped in flares as fireworks fill the sky.

Naturally, the time with family and friends is great, but as this tradition continues and our boys grow, I am genuinely struck by how they take in the fireworks and late night as I once did. What I learn is that by simply watching their experience, I find the mundanity of my "adult life" wither away - being replaced by the reflection of wonderment in their eyes. 

Make the time we have wonderful.


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