Monday, July 4, 2016

Thoughts on July 4th

fireworks with our family
Tis the season of parades, picnic food, and fireworks. Parades are great, and the food is wonderful. But I'll just be frank and say that I'm not a fan of home fireworks. 

They were not a part of my childhood memories, so I don't know the difference between a firecracker, a smoke bomb, a popper, a fountain or a Roman candle. We always went to a park to see the kind that lit up the sky with booming explosions, where we were far away from the place of detonation. Those kind of fireworks were wonderful.

In addition to my lack of personal experience with home fireworks, I took serious note of the potential injuries that can come with fire crackers in health class videos. 

When Beloved and I celebrated the 4th of July as a dating couple, he bought fireworks, just a few little things, and I was nervous the entire time, in spite of his experience.  After we married and the children were old enough to appreciate such things, Beloved bought some and even though he exercised the utmost of injury prevention, I rarely held a sparkler, hanging back with the hope the whole thing would soon be over.

You're probably thinking that I'm leading up to a story of disaster  with gory injuries to validate my fears.  Thankfully, I have none to share. Not a one. 

Last year when our family was able to get together for this holiday, one of our sons and our son-in-law (a professional pyro-technician) hosted fireworks for the grandchildren.  They did a great job that involved fire, colored smoke, noise, things shooting into the air, black wormy things, sparklers, and even little tiny army tanks scooting across the pavement. It was very entertaining. Very. And noisy. I did mention the noise, didn't I?

I still sat in my chair a safe distance away, scared for everybody. 

It all went very well. Not a single person was injured and the kids loved it. 

What was my favorite part? It was watching my son and son-in-law, who have had very little time to really get to know each other, working together on a common project to entertain their kids. I loved watching that relationship of mutual cooperation.

And my second favorite part? This I did not get to see, but sometime amidst all the noise I realized my daughter and daughter-in-law were no longer outside with us.  They had gone into the house, each with their newborn baby, and were visiting together in the quiet air conditioning. I loved it that they found time to share their mothering experiences with each other. 

Earlier in the visit I was delighted to see my other son and daughter-in-law, who have no children of their own, playing with their nieces and nephews, laughing, giggling, sharing stories. I loved it.

It is so good to see my adult kids enjoying each other's company, and especially since it is a rare occurrence with the distance that separates them and very different career paths.

When our nation celebrates the 4th of July, we are celebrating the union of hearts and minds of people who fought for the freedom to live and worship in a new land. They were a varied people from different origins and occupations. But they were able to agree on their need for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  

When I see my family all together in one place, talking, playing with each other's kids, laughing, and eating together, my heart is joyful and at peace. 

I wish the people of our nation could be at peace with one another, respectful, generous, forbearing, looking for healthy ways to get along. Recently I shared this Bible verse, but I want close out today's post with this thought one more time:

How good and pleasant it is
when God's people live together in unity!

Psalm 133:1


  1. It really all comes down to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is when orders start being issued against those fundamental rights that we get into trouble. I am so with you on the fireworks...they have been blasting for days and the poor dogs have been howling for days. Enough already! (Loved the descriptions of your family being together...nothing like being knitted together in love.)

  2. When my son was little and when we had neighbors, the neighbors would get together and the adults would let off fireworks. Now, we just go see them. Have a Happy and Joyful July 4th to the parade at noon, then BBQ and fireworks at 10 pm (yes, 10 as it doesn't get dark until around then).

  3. ...and I totally with Vee; Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness and I also loved the family being is always just the three of us and one day, my son will have a family of his own..smiles

  4. Family is really what the 4th is all about, I think. How great that you have those wonderful memories to share! Our patriot ancestors gave us this great land where we are free to raise our families and pursue our dreams.

  5. This was a beautiful post....when our children were growing up, home fireworks were not something we did...personally, I wish that they were unlawful....every year as I hear them in our neighborhood, I am concerned as it is so dry here right now, that something will be set on fire....we find the litter from them in our yard sometimes where they've come over the fence....this year, we're having a quiet day at home, Honey Bear actually worked this morning and so did my daughter....
    I do enjoy seeing the professional fireworks,though.
    Mama Bear