Why are fireworks so LOUD?
Our town had their big fireworks display on July 3rd to confuse the children, so as not to compete with the FOURTH of July fireworks going on in the neighboring town (a town affluent enough to own a calendar), and so the kids could stay up till midnight on the 3rd only to get up early for parades and pancake breakfasts the next morning.
Like my parents before me, I handed my daughter a paper cup and asked her to be sure and catch the sparkles from the fireworks so we'd have something to take home with us. She failed miserably, excitedly mumbling something about "catch and release" when I found her cup empty at the end of the show.
Magoo laid flat on his back, staring up at the pyrotechnics and clawing the flesh from my arm with one hand while plugging his ear with the other. I think I heard him yell/sob, "WOW," "LOOK," "ROCK ON!" "PRETTY," and "What glorious display from the heavens doth my eyes behold?!"
With tears in his awestruck eyes, he choked out "Fun?" — more of a question than a statement. Although he went berserk when the fireworks ended and I let go of him so I could clap, when I put my arms back around him, he pointed up and demanded, "MORE!" Magoo's is a world where fear and pleasure are nearly inseparable. Just ask his thrice skinned knees.
Light 'em up
With family, friends and neighbors gathered around, we carried on the time honored tradition of handing live explosives to toddlers and preschoolers and letting them run around "carefully supervised" in the dark. We then lit about $100 on fire...for the kids.
I would like to make a motion that all consumer firework products forgo their crazy names and instead be marked with a dual ranking, one number for visual impressiveness and one for deafen-ability. I would rather know whether a device has suitably awesome firepower and causes minimal hearing loss than that it's called "Gremlin's Toenail."
Aunt Nichole and I stayed up long after the last child was put out in a bucket of cold water, decorating Laylee's borrowed plastic Barbie bike with shiny red wrapping paper sliced into fringe. It looked, if not completely professional, at least somewhat patriotically fly.
Pyromaniac in training
Then, in honor of the 4th, I woke up Laylee and Magoo 4 hours before they were ready so they could ride bikes and wagons in a kiddie parade. We walked outside to watch the parade passing us by but tried to convince the kids to ride the route anyway...for FUN! They refused to ride the bike, fell out of the wagon, cried a lot, found some candy on the side of the road, complained about the sun in their little vampiric eyes, licked a pancake, cried some more, watched a movie and slept for 3 hours.
When they woke up, Laylee told Grandpa excitedly, "We had SO MUCH FUN! We were in a PARADE where they had CANDY in the STREET! Then we played with Auntie Nichole's bunny out of the CAGE!"
I think next year I may just let them sleep in late, help them find some old gum on the driveway and then send them up in the attic to cuddle with the rat ghosts. We may also light some long matches and let the kids hold them till they burn their fingertips. Then of course we'll sing the national anthem and lick some potato salad. It will be a great day.