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Arianne Brown: There's still reason to celebrate, despite what we see on social media

By Arianne Brown | Posted - Jul. 10, 2020 at 3:31 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — It was Independence Day morning, and if my world view from my social media news feed leading up to this day was correct, this day could likely be my last.

The fireworks I had been accustomed to viewing from my porch and rooftop would be replaced with gunshots. Fires would be set ablaze not by reckless street pyros, but by looters in the streets carrying makeshift torches.

If what I saw portrayed on social media platforms were a predictor of my July 4, 2020 happenings, my ability to enjoy the day would surely be hindered.

Yet, on the morning of July 4, 2020, I woke up to a surprisingly quiet house. All nine of my children and my husband were still asleep, allowing me the freedom to sneak out for a 10-mile run — a run I had no official plan for but had the freedom to choose where I went. I ran on some roads and nearby dirt trials with the backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains to keep me company.

Upon returning home, I was greeted by several children, who, of their own free will and choice, decided that marshmallows were a good breakfast food.

My husband and I then ventured out to the store in search of sand toys for our newly constructed sandbox. I wore a face mask and my husband chose to go the neck gaiter route. My choice proved to be less efficient, as I pulled a little too hard on the ear straps, snapping one of them off. Thankfully, my choice earlier in the week to stash a few extra gaiters in the glove compartment proved to be a good one.

Upon returning home, we were met with children eager to have a fun holiday. Some had even taken it upon themselves to ransack the swimsuit bag in search of swim attire. Apparently the noise from the backyard neighbor’s swimming pool, coupled with the hot, summer temperatures gave them ideas that we, too, could swim in our pool-less backyard.

Sprinklers proved to be a good alternative, and what started out as a small cooling-off activity turned to a full-blown game of Red Rover — sprinkler-style — with a nearly broken arm and a bloody nose to boot.


To many, my world view from home may seem a bit skewed. But, if Independence Day 2020 at the Brown household is any indicator of how things are on the general homefront, I will go out on a limb and say that social media’s view of the world may also be a bit distorted.

To keep in line with the patriotic theme of the day, we decided to have a family viewing of "Hamilton" to perhaps educate our children on the beginnings of our country as we know it and the visions of our forefathers. We quickly realized that musical theater is not something that keeps our attention spans flowing, so we opted for the action-packed 1996 film "Independence Day." Sadly, our kids were less than impressed by the mid-90s cinematography, and our family movie attempt was a total bust.

We ate turkey burgers, hot dogs and roasted the marshmallows that were not consumed during breakfast. And when the evening came, we watched the sky.

I am not blind to the fact that the world is experiencing unprecedented events that are causing political and societal upheaval in cities and towns across the country. I am fully aware that the COVID-19 virus continues to spread its nastiness, bringing with it intense physical and emotional ailments that are dividing a country founded on principles of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

To many, my world view from home may seem a bit skewed. But, if Independence Day 2020 at the Brown household is any indicator of how things are on the general homefront, I will go out on a limb and say that social media’s view of the world may also be a bit distorted.

We can eat marshmallows for breakfast with or without the accompanying crunchy cereal. We can choose what we watch and listen to, even at the risk of missing out on trending Broadway musicals, mediocre 1990’s action films, or social media posts that cause us to believe things that just aren't true.

At least that’s what I’m telling myself, my children, and now you.

How did you celebrate your independence this past Fourth of July? Were your freedoms still intact? Let us know in the comment section.

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Arianne Brown

About the Author: Arianne Brown

Arianne Brown is a mother of nine children who has found her voice in the written word. For more of her writings, follow her Facebook page "A Mother's Write" or on Instagram @ariannebrown.

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