When we celebrate Independence Day on July 4th, our family also celebrates our own individual independence.
We’re a multicultural family that enjoys the hard-earned freedom of working from home.
I’m half Spanish and my husband was raised in Mexico. Our parents are immigrants and our children are, like us, a mix.
When we grew up we didn’t know exactly where we belonged, so we want to instill in our children a love of both their cultures.
We incorporate our own heritage into our celebration
On a daily basis we love to cook, and we always spice things up. Paella, tacos al pastor and menudo are weekly staples.
Since we honor our roots in the kitchen regularly, on the 4th of July we put out a traditional cookout.
Of course we also listen and dance to our favorite Latin music. We spend a large part of the afternoon in our backyard pool together—like familia. We play music and have great family fun.
The kids, (we have three, two girls and a boy) can’t wait for the fireworks and it seems that every year they set them off earlier and earlier.
The kids love the 4th because they love hamburgers—it’s a break from the regular tamales or chicken, rice and beans.
It’s one of those days when we’re all outside, wet from the pool and smelling of sunblock.
After a late afternoon outdoor dinner, the kids fuel our grill with more charcoal or scrap twigs and branches from the oak in the back yard and grill marshmallows to make one of their favorite desserts: s’mores.
We’re Hispanic, but we are also American
The great thing about s’mores is that the kids can make them themselves. They roast their own marshmallows, add chocolate to their taste and sandwich it all between Honey Maid graham crackers.
Ever since they were little, they’ve been making s’mores, burning their marshmallows, putting way too much chocolate or doubling up on graham crackers.
For them making this delicious dessert is a declaration of their own independence. They can do it on their own. And it’s a way to remind us all that yes, we’re Hispanic, but we are also American.
They keep busy with dinner and s’mores until the sun begins to set and they go to the front of the house and set off fireworks.
We have to make sure our poor dog is indoors. He is the only one who doesn’t enjoy that noise!
For the kids the 4th of July is a day they can eat what they love, and also watch fireworks.
A day to honor the traditions and heritage of our adoptive homeland
But for my husband and me it’s a way to honor the traditions and heritage of our adoptive homeland. And we hope that this tradition trickles down to our kids.
That one day they will be cooking out and making s’mores with their children on Independence Day, while they cook traditional Latin food during the week.
Of course we never want them to forget where their parents and their grandparents came from.
The United States is a country of immigrants, and as much as we are thankful for being a part of this great nation, it doesn’t mean we need to erase our past.
If you would like to join us in sharing how your multicultural family spends the 4th of July, share your stories, photos and videos on social media using the hashtag #4thofJuly and #ThisIsWholesome.