Happy 4th of July

8:45 pm. Working hard on a manuscript due back to the publisher before I leave for Sweden and Norway on Monday. Then it hits me. ARRGH.. It’s the 4th of July and my husband is doing homework upstairs for his IT class, and my kid is sitting in the basement watching tv alone. Oops.

Frantic five minutes of running upstairs to ask, “Honey, does it bother you that it’s the fourth of July and our son is sitting alone in the basement?” Yup. “Maybe we should go down to the river and see the fireworks?” Are you sure they are going to have fireworks this year? Maybe you should check the paper.

Run, run, run to the basement to grab my new laptop with wireless internet. Fireworks to start at 9 p.m. Quick look at the computer clock: 8:59. Run back upstairs and tell hubbie, “YUP, starts at 9. Let’s go.” Hubbie shuts down his computer, and I run to the basement door yelling for my son to come quick. He arrives in the kitchen breathless with a worried look. “Let’s go see the fireworks.” Relief floods his face and then a big grin.

We fly to the car and take a “back road,” which is quickly clogged with cars. Edging out to the main road, we pull over as soon as a space opens up, all the while watching the beginning of the show over our shoulders. Then we scamper across the street, where hardly any cars are moving anyway, so jaywalking is fine.

Kaboom!

Crackle, crackle, crackle.

Swoosh.

BANG!

echo, echo, echo…

Kaboom, twang, whizzzzz

pop, pop, pop, popppppety, pop

BA BOOOOOOM!

Amazing how strong the echoes are when fireworks are set off so close to a river. Tons of people, including two young men who almost got into a fist fight two feet in front of us as we watched the fireworks through the trees.

They set off the pyrotechnics from the grounds of my university, actually. One year a while back we went to see the display from right where they set it off. Our son would have NOTHING to do with that, thank you very much. He does NOT appreciate loud noises, and fireworks have only recently become of interest to him (starting last summer when he got to see his uncle’s fireworks show).

I think he enjoyed the holiday at least a little. Fireworks were good. At least he got to stay up way past bedtime, since it took us thirty minutes to drive the mile home…. Oh, and I found out after the fact that my husband had decided today was a good day to teach our child how to light a match. It’s probably time for him to learn. He’s ten. He’ll be careful. I guess he was pretty psyched about it. He even lit the b-b-q. That kid’s sure growing up.

Happy independence day…

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