Independence Week

holidays, Little Aussie

It may have been a patchwork and spread out over a few days, but I managed to find some Independence Day spirit in a country that hasn’t yet felt the compulsion to declare hers.

It was the 5th of July here, but still the 4th in the States when my clan marched our red, white and blue personages off to Sydney’s Little America (aka Costco). Truthfully, it was just a regular shopping trip, but when you need the holiday spirit, this is not just a hot dog, but a Real American Hot Dog(!). And the American flag banners on all the food tasting stalls don’t just make you want to say, “I’m American. You can’t trick me with that Spam. I know better,” as you do the rest of the year, but also do a jaunty little military salute while turning up your nose.

It wouldn’t have been patriotic to not take advantage of a free refill on my Coca Cola before we left, as well. 
We came home to find a Real American treat in the post box. Our little girl got a letter from POTUS and FLOTUS welcoming her into the world, one of America’s newest Yankee Doodle Sweethearts. 

Inspecting her official mail.
(Your baby too can receive a letter from the White House).
Around the same time as Hushpuppy’s official welcome, she became so emboldened with her newfound sense of identity that she mastered the art of rolling back to front, thus declaring her own independence from the tyranny of staring at the ceiling. That’s American ingenuity, folks!
On Saturday (6th of July, but who’s counting?), we had an Independence Day picnic as a way of getting to know some other Yanks With Kids. We had an uncharacteristically warm and beautiful day for winter, which almost (really not almost, but if you pretended super hard that you weren’t wearing a sweater) gave the impression of it being summer. We brought along 3 kilos (“American Size”) of chicken wings and the other YWKs contributed American flag inspired taco dip and cake, plus the most gorgeous patriotic cookies this side of Martha Stewart’s house. Across the lawn, the Democrats Abroad also happened to be having a 6th 4th of July picnic, so there was some co-mingling, and Hushpuppy even scored an illustrated Star Spangled Banner book (did you know that there is more than one verse? Because I, fellow patriots, did not). The Democrats apologized that it was too windy to erect cardboard cut-out Obama, so unfortunately, we did not get to personally thank him for the letter.
That night, there were fireworks over the Harbour. Partner-in-Crime and I agreed that they were probably for Independence Day. Never mind that there are fireworks over the Harbour a good three days a week and that it was now nearing the end of the 6th of July. When you are celebrating the most American of holidays in a country who still salutes the Queen, hot dogs, mail, sunshine, and fireworks mean what you want them to. I pulled my holiday up by its bootstraps with hard work and a good imagination. Ain’t that just the American way.