She holds these truths to be self evident...

How was our 4th, you ask? This particular 4th of July, I had a soft spot for the British. Naturally, the people who declared their independence get a lot of press. They (well, we) had that famous tea party, lit lanterns at the top of the church, rode horses around, stirred up some passion and, after a lot of fighting, wrested their independence away from the British.

I really am grateful for this. I live in the cradle of liberty and count it among my blessings. Every other year I have felt fully behind the declarers of independence and "nyah, nyah" to the losers, the left behind, the former motherland.

But on this 4th of July, we had our own little independence ceremony. For me it entailed watching my oldest daughter walk through airport security (as Greg said, all backpack and ponytail) to board a flight to Ireland* on her own. Independently. And in that moment I had a flash of sympathy for Jolly Old England, mother to motherland, with this realization: It's much more fun to do the declaring than to be the declaree, more exciting to be the ship than the port, and much less emotional to be the girl embarking on her journey than to be the mom watching her do it. Poor dear, England.

*she's going to Ireland for two weeks to visit and help my aunt, who runs a writer's retreat (basically an inn for artists and writers who are working on their projects) in Cork. She arrived safely and has been helping with the animals, the gardens, and meals.