Last night we dragged our sore, tired, weekend warrior bodies to the fireworks. This was the first year that Hunter really wanted to go and seeing as we have made him go every year up to now because we wanted to go it only seemed fair.
The fireworks weren't slated to start until 10:30 but we wanted to get there early enough to secure a good spot so we arrived around 10:00. We found a great spot, spread out the blanket, folded up the stroller and got comfortable. Five minutes later Julia started whimpering. Knee bounces and airplanes appeased her for fifteen minutes or so but then the fact that she was exhausted and unable to sleep with all the action around got the better of her and she began to cry. Since holding her wasn't really comforting her, I took her for a little walk.
As I walked further and further away from the fantastic vantage point we had secured by arriving early, I started to grumble to myself - why does the Mum always have to be the one to leave when the show is about to start, and why didn't I just send Jason and Hutner to start with if I was going to have to spend the time comforting a tired baby anyway? I was fully expecting that my newly-calmed baby would start wailing once the fireworks began because Hunter never failed to cry when they started - he would be wonderfully happy until that first cracking sound then the tears would begin (or, later, the I want to go homes). I was thinking that this was the first year that Hunter wouldn't be scared when they started but it would be another four years before Julia wasn't scared when they started and that maybe we would have been smarter if we had spaced them closer together.
When the fireworks started with their usual bang Julia stared at the sky in quiet wonder. A few more cracks lighting up the sky and a smile erupted on her face. Then a giggle. I was now holding my spellbound baby thinking just how much better fireworks are with kids. Even though I could hear the odd adult grumble about how lame they were or how much they cost, most of the grumbles were drowned out by the sounds of kids gasping, clapping, and asking the person nearest them if they had seen that. My own grumbles quieted and were replaced with gratitude and a hope that when Hunter is too old to see the wonder in fireworks (if he gets too old to see the wonder in fireworks) we'll have four more years of wonder with Julia.
When they finished, I couldn't wait to find Hunter and Jason to share with them how much Julia had enjoyed her first fireworks show (now feeling like I had gotten a really good deal having to go for the walk after all). When I found them, Hunter excitedly told me how he and Jason had yelled "ka-pow!!" every time the fireworks cracked and had gotten some of the kids sitting near by to do it too. Hunter asked me if I had seen the various types of fireworks, and told me that the triangle ones were his favourite. It was obvious that Hunter had really enjoyed the fireworks for the first time this year. I wondered about the kapows so Jason explained that Hunter had been a little scared and asked to go home when they started so Jason convinced him to start yelling "kapow" every time they cracked - that way the noise wouldn't be scary.
I can hardly wait until next year when there will be Hunter's anticipation at the memory of the fireworks, and four of us yelling "ka-pow!!"