For most Americans, the 4th of July is not simply a celebration of American's declaration of independence from England, but a major family holiday, with all the joys - and traumas - that represents.
Picnics, and barbecues, and family gatherings. Family having a great time together, family dysfunctions on parade. Pool time, beach time, lake time, and Solarcaine time.
And, of course, the fireworks.
I would encourage my readers, who are celebrating (or not) this holiday, not to put huge amounts of pressure on yourselves to create the "perfect" family holiday. Comparisons to childhood memories, whether those memories are happy or painful, are inevitable, but the only person insisting that we have to make this one better is us.
Actually, we don't have to make this event "the best one yet." Actually, it's okay if we muck up the potato salad or don't make it to the beach. Or even if we miss the fireworks [gasp].
Life will go on. Be kind to yourself, be grateful for the freedom and family and friends you have, and try to take life's little uncertainties and disappointments with a grain of salt. If you love or live with an OCPDr, and s/he is in freakout mode due to the extra stress over the holiday, try to understand it is because of her/his anxiety, and don't take it personally. It's not about you.
Breathe in, breathe out. This too shall pass.
Belated Happy Canada Day, and early Happy Independence Day.