Monday, July 03, 2006
4th of July
4th of July is a special day for any American. Allot of meaning is derived from all who participate, whether it's quietly or festively. A family gathering of sorts with everyone partaking of a grilled burger or a slice of delicious watermelon. Some prefer the 4th as an excuse to get paid time off from work. Whatever your meaning of the 4th entails, it is a special day for all of us.
My 4th of July usually comes and goes quietly for me. There is no fanfare, great cookouts or family picnics in the park. But this year was quite remarkably a special day as a father. Yes, I have seen many firework displays with my son since he was born. But this weekend we shared a father/son moment that undoubtedly will remain apart of his memory as well as mine. A common bond for the love of fireworks as well as the mutual respect for their meaning. My BH always asks me what I want to be when I grow up. lol I always tell her I want to marry a woman just like her. So needless to say, I might be turning 41 this year but I'm the biggest kid at heart.
My son and I embark upon our firework adventure late as usual. Yes, late as in the fireworks start at 10 pm and we left for a 15 minute drive at 9:15. Not bad unless your going into a State Park. But thankfully the crowd was relatively light as compared to previous years. I even let my son pick the area we were to sit this glorious night. This made him feel like he wasn't just tagging along but rather helping make the decisions. Very important step for a 10 year old. Within 25 minutes after departing, we both were comfortably seated and enjoying a Pepsi. Of course Dad here forgot the bug spray but thankfully the bugs seemed to realize there was going to be allot of smoke and loud booms. As the sun began to set behind us, the lake from which we were going to watch became illuminated with the boat lights. We even had some pre-fireworks from boats on the water. It helped build the anticipation from what was to come.
"Dad, its 9:55...5 minutes left." Of course I received the countdown every minute until 10 pm. We both became restless in our seats, looking around nervously waiting for the booms to commence. We had never been at this park and he had randomly chosen a place to seat ourselves. We had no idea if the fireworks were shooting over the water or over us. lol We seemed to be placed in a sparsely populated portion of the clearing. Odd, I thought to myself, but nonetheless we stayed put. "Dad, 10:01 and they haven't started, what gives?" My thoughts exactly but through my wisdom and experience I've grown accustomed to being patient.
I had just started to reply when the first thunderous "thump" came from our right. You could see the stream of propellent going into the night sky. A big smile came across my face, not only from my anticipated enjoyment, but from the look of shock upon my sons. KABOOM! The night sky light up with a dazzling display of the colors red, white and blue! An awesome beginning...I was not going to be disappointed. We both were startled by the boom although we both could clearly see the flight. I looked over at my son and he was grinning from ear-to-ear...just like Dad.
For the next 30-40 minutes we were awarded a fireworks display like none I've ever encountered. We quickly learned why the area we were sitting was sparesly populated. It was like sitting front row at a movie theater. Our heads were cranked back and after it was all over our necks were stiff. The most spectacular thing for me, my son has other opinions, was the fireworks being so close. You had the brilliant display going off with the "kaboom" rattling through your body. Some of them even looked like they were exploding right at us. "Great pick of seats son!" Afterall, it was his decision that made the whole evening a cherished memory. An amazing display I've never witnessed especially with my son. We both left the fireworks display fully content and wanting more. As any fireworks display should be...