Thursday, July 05, 2007

Responsible Parenting

Uhhhhh.....let’s see now, we have been doing this 4th of July with kids thing for 11 years now and would you believe it, this was the first year that our kids sat and enjoyed one of them there big city folk firework shows.

You see, you have to understand the dichotomy of the situation. I was raised as one of them kids who regularly enjoyed the big shows until my 16th year and the Stadium of Fire was more of a Stadium of Ice (but that’s another story). My wife on the other hand was raised with a different set of traditions. Her family had block fire work shows...those who lived on the block all added to the pot-luck or stash of fireworks and then they would light them off after it got dark. Once we was married we just stuck with the tradition from her side of the family and that was that. Our kids never felt like they were missing out.

Last year was the first year that we found ourselves alone for the 4th. Being in the great state of Texas, we decided to purchase [legally] the cool fireworks...the kind that leave the ground. We then decided to get together with another friend of the family and we had our own private show...and watched some of the neighbor’s fireworks.

I’m sure that most of you are aware that these “legal” fireworks are just the toddler version of the “excuse me, but do you have a permit for these” fireworks that the bigger cities usually light off.

This year we decided to brave the crowds and attend the fireworks in the park [free admission] celebration. I think whenever you attach the word free, it tends to bring folks out of the wood works...hey it brought us out. Nevertheless, we found a spot in which we could park and lay out a blanket. Now our kids were not used to having to wait [being pretty much idle for an 1 1/2 hrs.] for it to get dark enough for the city to do its thing. As such they was a plenty tired and ornery. We almost packed up and went home when 10:05 rolled around and they still hadn’t started...after all, we had already watched as plenty of other folks nearby just set off their own fireworks as fast as they could touch the punk to the fuse.

Lo and Behold, the real firework show began and the kids were all a oooohhhhss and aaahhhhhhs and “Mom did you see that one?!” or “Dad, can you believe that one looked like Saturn?” The bottom line is, the show was a success. Our kids exclaimed several times that they wanted to come watch them again next year.


Melody said...

Fun post. Happy July to you and yours.

Sometimes we all have to try new things.

For the first time in 25 years our little family did not attend the Parade... instead we went to "Transformers"at 9:30AM. It was great fun, in the shade, no traffic. Call me a kill-joy, I don't care.

We did attend the "stadium on fire and I love those big beautiful saturn-and-other-planet-shaped things - even though they left us covered in black ashes. Next year, however, I think we'll go for the neighborhood pyro pot luck. A little change from time-to-time is good for the soul.

Pappy Yokum said...

I don't know if'n ya'll feel like people are of the mind that the more you spend on your own fireworks, the more patriotic you are, but that's how things seem here in Montana. People gather in locations near enough to see the city fireworks and then go about providin' a "pre-show" as I call it. It's hard to imagine the extraordinary amount of cash people lay down to explode some of their own fireworks (we also have the legal, go up in the air fireworks). It's no wonder Montana is the birthplace of the Unibomber. Of course, it is kind of cool to be able to watch so many fireworks, includin' whilst you're a'waitin' on the city works to start.

~cari~ said...

We have the best of both worlds. On the 4th we let off our own fireworks at my Sis-in-laws and the kids get to watch a city show at my Mom and Dad's backyard in Draper for Draper Days a couple weeks later (they live right by the park). I have to say, I much rather watch the city's fireworks only because it's safer. I worry about accidents especially now that Lee lets the older boys light them! Yikes! What is it with boys and blowing things up? I'll never understand.

compulsive writer said...

We have the best of all three worlds! From my street we can light off our own overpriced but legal fireworks, watch those from the Stadium of Fire, and watch completely innocently as our neighbor sets off literally hundreds of dollars worth of the illegals.

Cari--pyromanic tendencies are genetically imprinted in male DNA. It's true.