This is the first year I lived in a place during the 4th of July where fireworks are legal in a very long time. The last time was in Venezuela where fireworks were actually used during Christmas and on the evening of elections. (I guess nothing says “Silent Night” like an M80 going off in your front yard. But I totally get trying to shoot bottle rockets at politicians.) So on Saturday I took my oldest son and we visited one of those massive tent firework stands in front of a church. I couldn’t help feeling like I was doing something wrong, but we got past that pretty quick when my boy found a full-size canon that could probably use a Volkswagon as its projectile. So we bought a few things that seemed least likely to create craters, but still made Ethan happy, and were on our way.
He tried to open things up in the car and I cautioned him that this probably wasn’t the best idea. To cement that thought I told him a true story of a friend who lit a bottle rocket while we were driving in my car. He hit his hand on the window and it dropped between his legs and exploded right there. No damage was done other than a little burn on the seat, but the story was enough to convince Ethan to put thing back in the bag.
Since it stays light here so late we decided to do our little show that evening in the sunlight. This didn’t seem to damped anyone’s spirits. We were with a couple other families with young kids, so there was a lot of “energy” as things exploded and burned. For me the highlight was the kids all singing/humming some versions of patriotic songs while sparks spewed from our celebratory devices. Later that night after we put the kids to bed we noted that we seemed to be living in Baghdad circa 2003 because it felt and sounded like all fireworks everywhere were fairly close to our house and were all being used to signal that as part of our freedom we can make things explode. It went on for quite a while – so with no hopes of sleeping we just hung out and enjoyed the noise.
So at the end of the day I still have all my fingers and not a single burn mark AND I live in the greatest country in the history of the world, so we’ll call that a great day!