Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The FOURTH of July

The kids are older and they are all off with their friends to celebrate the holiday. Previous years, I would decorate the house, line our property with flags, arrange red, white and blue flowers in vases to adorn the tables where family members would sit to enjoy their 4th of July BBQ.

We would scramble through dinner and dessert to caravan our way to our favorite, yet crowded, viewing spot for the fireworks. My father would drive his pick-up and we, along with the kids (and hundreds of others) would anxiously await the colorful and bright firework display from the back of the truck.

It usually went off without a hitch.

One year, not too long ago, we pulled up a little earlier than usual. We joked and proudly commended our normally tardy selves for being so early. We parked with such ease and then...we waited and waited. We were very early.

The kids were giddy with excitement, huddled together in the back of the truck, gnawing away on the lollipops my mother brought along as a special treat. The usual 9:30 start time came and went. No worries, it was very windy and surely they were waiting for the winds to die down. We assured the kids this was the case. "Don't you remember when this happened to us at Disney?"

9:35... "Mumma, my hands are sticky."

9:40..."Mumma, I'm thirsty."

9:45..."Mumma, how much longer?"

9:50..."Mumma, it's getting cold."

As the clock struck ten, I leaned into my mother in law and quietly asked, "It is the fourth of July, right?" She assured me it was. We had the right date. Phew! Cause that would've been embarrassing!

Then Doc H, in a tired huff, says, "Are you sure there are fireworks tonight? Honey, there are no other cars around, usually this place is crawling with cars and people."

"Of, course there is! It's the Fourth of July, for crying out loud! Everyone knows there are fireworks on the Fourth of July." I wasn't a moron. I wouldn't schlep my entire family including my parents and in-laws for fireworks if I wasn't positively certain there was a firework show!

Jeezus, Mary, and Joseph, I've got my schizz together.

At 10 after 10, we packed it in and headed for home, with a van load of disappointed kids, an irritated husband, and an equally irritated wife. In my mind, I saw the July 5th newspaper headline, "Fireworks Cancelled Due to High Winds".

We weren't home even thirty seconds when I hear Doc H yell, "EMMA!!!!" And just because my in-laws were visiting, I substituted a venomous, "WHAT!!!" with a sweet, "yyyyeessss???"

I walk into the kitchen where I see Doc H waving yesterday's paper. He plops it down on the counter. I see a full page firework show advertisement clearly and boldly announcing the fireworks were proudly to be presented on... July 3rd.

I looked up at Doc H's bulging eyes, "Oh, is that what I heard last night?"


  1. Our town always does the fireworks on the 3rd (not sure why). It worked out for us this year though as Dr J is on call tonight so wouldn't be able to go.

  2. Fireworks on the 3rd of July seems un-American:-) I suppose I could be called un-American becuase only once in seven years has my son seen a fireworks display. I prefer to get the kids in bed and asleep. I have to deal with those kids in the morning and a few fireworks aren't worth it for me. I am an awful mother. Happy Independence Day!

    1. Ha! Just a tired mother who needs her beauty sleep! :)

  3. My university sponsors the fireworks on the 3rd for the city. Works well. Most people have the 4th off but unless it's the weekend many have to work the 5th. Gives people a chance to stay out late & not miss work. I miss it.

    1. Our city always had them on the 4th. It was such great fun and memorable tradition for the kids. It was sad this year.


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