Yo boys,

Mama loves you. She really does. Since we are celebrating our country’s hard-fought battle for independence, I have a little declaration of my own this summer. Let’s raise the stars and stripes, eat some treats, and practice a little independence of our own, shall we?

Turn those clothes right side out, every one of ’em. If I keep finding pant legs in opposite directions, I’m going to make you wear them that way.

You’re really good at getting your own water, now it’s time to start rationing it yourself on trips and such. No gulping down gallons just because it’s hot outside. Sip, swash, swallow, and then wait a while before taking another drink. (That’s what your army Papa taught me to do during long afternoon fishing trips, so I’m just passing on the love here.)

Stop running to me for every little tattle, tell, tall tale, and tantrum. This girl can’t get two minutes to herself without legs running up the stairs because all hell broke loose your brother is mimicking you. Let a girl drink a cup of coffee while it’s still hot. Or lukewarm, at least.

There are about 100 pounds of groceries in the back of the van when we come home from a shopping trip. 98 pounds of it is for you: perhaps you could start carrying it in without being asked.

On that note, it’s time to up the ante when it comes to kitchen help. Who is up for breakfast duty tomorrow?

Proud to be an American (and a Mom). Happy Fourth, Kids.

In the spirit of patriotism,

– Mommy