Happy Birthday America and My Granddaughter
As my granddaughter came through the door it was evident something was troubling her. She hugged me but it wasn't the big, squeezy hug normally reserved for me. Kay pulled back from my embrace to look me squarely in the eyes. "You were wrong Mimi, really wrong" she said solemnly. You could see the mixture of emotions in the almost 5-year old’s little body as she continued “The fireworks aren’t for me, it’s ‘Pendence Day Mimi”.
Yep, there it was. I knew it would probably be this year and it was confirmed by the text her mom sent me when she picked Kay up from school. Today’s lesson was about the 4th of July which was also Kay’s birthday. I had been telling her the fireworks and celebration were all for her . . .yea, I knew this one was going to come back to bite me. In my defense, she was my first-born grandchild and as far as I was concerned reason for the entire country to celebrate.
So this is how the discussion went as well as I remember it as nine years have gone by:
“Independence Day? No 4th of July is your birthday,” I told her.
“But Mimi it’s ‘Pendence Day. My teacher told me. She said it was America’s birthday. That’s what the fireworks and flags are for.”
“Think about the red, white and blue we see all over the place. They are your favorite colors.”
“Mimi, they are all my favorite colors!” (We had discussed this numerous times. Her favorite colors were anything but black. She said the color black took over the rest when you mixed them together.)
“What about the flags?” she countered.
I was stumped how to tie the American flags into her birthday.
“And what about the fireworks? Didn’t you see them before me?” she continued.
I squatted down to look her directly in the eyes. “Kay, Independence Day is an important day for celebrating America’s birthday, which also happens to be your birthday. Yes, I had seen many fireworks celebrations before but they got bigger and brighter after you were born!” I said as I hugged her tight.
“Oh, Mimi” she said through a smile.
Happy birthday America . . . and happy 14th birthday Kay!