Declaring our Interdependence

When I was a single twenty-something, I turned July Fourth into my own personal holiday from which to declare independence from all the bad boyfriends and experiences that I had moved past. I gathered my friends together and Thanksgiving-style asked everyone to share what they were independent from. Then, we’d drink a toast to the new year of fiery self-reliance and watch fireworks.

When this tradition moved with me to the Bay Area, we bundled up in coats, hats, and scarves because of the freezey cold. I’m shivering with my sister below in the midst of San Francisco waterfront celebrations. I swear it’s summer.

Two years after this photo was taken, my holiday shifted focus. Rather than toasting ex-jobs and ex-boyfriends, I celebrated my interdependence with my new husband of one day at a (much warmer) county fair with spinny rides and giant animals. We imagined our futures together (and had no idea that we’d be expecting our first baby within a few weeks!).

Our wedding anniversary allows us to revisit our declaration of interdependence each year. We reread our wedding vows, look at old wedding pictures, and try to engage our older children in imagining life before Mommy & Daddy.

This holiday, I celebrate both freedom and togetherness all mixed together. This is what I’m Interdependent With:

  • a husband who does more than his share of nighttime duty
  • kids who make every meal a loud adventure
  • a baby so cuddly and so fierce, it’s hard to remember life before him
  • a “forever” house we’re improving together little by little

Of course there’s more to say about these people, but I have to save some of it for in person with a drink in my hand, don’t I?

This Independence Day, do you celebrate of the joys of freedom on a personal (or national) level? Or do you celebrate a commingled Interdependence with those you love?


This post is part of a series sponsored by Hallmark as part of their Life is a Special Occasion campaign. The photo shoot in the matching jammies was totally their idea this time. But how can you argue with the red, white, and blue on the Fourth of July?!