Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

4th of July Reflections

Date: 
Monday, July 16, 2012
Posted By: 
Susan

Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet….  I am sure you have heard this commercial in the past. This ad makes me think of the clichéd all-American image. 

I always think of this jingle around the 4th of July which is the epitome of American patriotism and spirit.  My three kids and I visit my parents in Wisc every 4th of July to celebrate the holiday and spend some quality time. They live near a lake so we drive around the lake in their little pontoon boat (which goes put-put-put) and park the boat in an area that is full of other boats.  Most of these boats are families enjoying their day off, swimming in the water, tossing around a football, or just splashing around. 

Instead of feeling happy and content watching this all-American scene, I become melancholy.  It seems that all of these families fit in the typical cliché that those ad execs shoved down my throat – one mom, one dad and a few kids.  The dads are throwing footballs and the moms are handing out drinks. The dad gives the mom a little kiss on the cheek or the mom rubs suntan lotion on the dad’s shoulders.  I try to ignore these other families and spend time with my kids.  But instead I notice that my kids are drawn like magnets to these other families.  One of my daughters swims over to one of the dads and asks to join in on the football game and another swims over to the family playing tag.  I don’t think that my kids notice that all of the other families have both a mom and a dad – they are probably just looking for other kids to play with.  Or maybe they are just getting used to it by now and take it for granted that our family is different or one-sided. But I can’t help noticing that they are drawn to the families with the active dad.

I realize that these families may have their own share of problems; maybe some have health issues or some are struggling with divorce. But from the outside, they look like the all-American family. 

It just makes me miss the “complete” family that we once had.  And that makes me sad.

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