One of the greatest simple pleasures in my life has always been fireworks. I never seem to have outgrown the little tingle inside that comes from seeing a burst of green, blue or red sparks exploding across the sky. Saddened by our city's decision to not perform their own display this year, I tuned into a YouTube broadcast of a show in London from this year's New Year's celebration. I resigned myself to the knowledge that this was as good as it was going to get this year, as we did not have the gumption to keep the kids up past the point of crankiness to stuff them in the carseats and drag them down the highway in either direction to find a formal display.
Instead, after a day of Mommy laying on the couch from feeling yucky (Happy Fourth to me), we tucked them into bed per our usual schedule and settled in for a movie.
Then, before the sun even set, we heard the popping begin. After about a half hour, unable to quell my curiosity, I sent Philip out to investigate (I wasn't dragging my nauseated tummy off this couch for any false alarms). He returned with favorable reports and I ventured out to the driveway to await the sporadic display.
The air was beautiful as I settled onto the concrete, still radiating the remainder heat of the day, trying to keep the bare skin of my legs from holding contact too long, and turned my eyes to the sky. At the first sighting, I knew this was too good to keep to ourselves. So Philip retrieved our daughter from her not-so-slumber. Little Man, however, truly had fallen asleep and we opted not to disturb him.
Thus, Micaiah sat outside with us, atop a blanket spread on our stone mailbox, monitoring the skies for any signs of fireworks. She oohed and awed and noticed the moon watching as well. Her imagination made horses and dragons from the remnant clouds following the sunset and she renamed the booming sparks "Gun-ch"'s after the sounds they made.
This was when I realized there is a joy greater than seeing the Fourth of July celebration with my own eyes, and that is watching the delight on the face of our two-year-old daughter, truly appreciating these wonders for the very first time.
Happy Birthday to our beloved nation!