On the 4th of July – Are we having any fun yet?
On the 4th of July, families pack up their campers, trailers or motor homes to go to the river or perhaps some place close to the ocean and while father drives and mother consults the map, children in the back seats whine and bicker and frequently moan “Are we THERE yet?” while father keeps both hands on the steering wheel and grits his teeth a little and mother softly says “I think we should have turned left at that last intersection and someone in the back cries out “I have to PEE!”
“I told you, you should all go while we were at that gas station” father reprimands, ignoring mother’s comment about the last turn. He feels her eyes on him and says “there’s always another road to get down to the shore” but of course there isn’t so finally he gets off at the next exit, finds a gas station, lets the children boisterously make a mad dash for the public restrooms and mother asks the attendant which is the fastest way to get to the ocean.
“Y’all passed it up about five miles back” he replies in father’s hearing.
So after everyone has used the facilities and hopefully remembered to wash their hands, they clamor back into the trailer and father makes a turn to go back the way they came, until he sees the sign for the only road leading to the beach.
Mother listens to the children bickering and discovers that a) Billy didn’t wash his hands and b) Jimmy peed on Steve and got it on his shoes and c) Jack didn’t use the restroom at all but ran into the gas station and bought a bag of candy when no one was looking.
They reach the beach and find a place to park. The children run amuck to see who can get to the water first.
Father says he needs a nap. Mother says “It’s the fourth of July. You should do something.”
“I am doing something” he replies. “I am taking a nap. When are you going to make lunch?”
Are we having any fun yet? Mother wonders. I wonder if we’ll be able to see any fireworks? She wonders some more. Maybe next year we can stay home and have a little barbecue.
–Sandra Lee Smith