When my son and I were visiting my mom in Ohio a couple weeks ago, his cousins Tara and Nikki came to visit. We were having fun chasing each other around the yard, climbing in the treehouse, and playing card games. Kayne's dad, Bob,  surprised us all with some sparklers. Wheeee! As we were lighting them with glee, my mom said, "I'll give $10 to anyone who knows all the words to the Star Spangled Banner and who'll sing it loudly.

Without a moment's hesitation, my son, his cousins, and I all started belting out the song while waving our sparklers. It was a simple moment. And yet I find myself thinking back on it often.

You know why? It was a moment in which I felt connected to my family, happy, and truly free.

Wishing you a 4th of July celebration that includes all those elements.

May freedom ring — inside and out of us.