Independence Day Ruminations

Watching fireworks on television is a waste of time. If you can’t feel the boom, there’s no point.

The kids wanted to go see fireworks live, but I said no. I explained that me with six little kids in a dark field at night trying to find a car (even a big white 12 passenger van) was not my idea of fun. Fritz very seriously detailed a plan involving rope that would give me peace of mind. Duct tape would probably work better.

As it is, the baby fell asleep at 530 PM in the car on the way home from the pool. I suspect a 3 AM wake up, but I promise I will not have a Part III to my series on my sleeping habits. Maybe I’ll just do a daily log of my weight and how many cigarettes I smoked…no, that’s been done already. Perhaps a mundane sleeping diary is the ticket to fame and fortune…

Then Jenny and Peter and I fell asleep during the pre-fireworks show at the Nation’s Capital being show on PBS. I’d have had a hard time doing that in a dark field with six little charges, unless of course, duct tape were involved. I’m happy to only have to carry the little ones up the stairs to bed and not in and out of a car and up the stairs.

Before I fell asleep, I saw (on TV) a military helicopter in the air over the Mall. I know several pilots, and I can tell you that being assigned to the DC area has some drawbacks, to include being tasked to do flyovers of public events on federal holidays, usually the ones geared toward honoring you. So, while the average civilian’s heart gets to swell with pride at seeing your helicopter or jet screaming through the air, your thanks for a job well done is another day at the office. And no, folks, there is no such thing as comp time in the US Military.

On the PBS show, they announced Barry Manilow performing. I muttered some amount of surprise that he was still alive and kicking. When the kids saw him, Billy said, “He’s a young man!” I said he was an old man when I was their age (at least he seemed that way – he’s three years older than my parents). I assume the man has had some assistance in his appearance. Either that or he has a very ugly portrait hidden in his attic. For perspective, Billy was insisting that his own father was an old man just the other day. But Barry Manilow is young. Maybe I should get Bill some botox for Christmas.

When I began this post, Katie interrupted to say that she couldn’t sleep because of the locals setting off firecrackers. I told her lie in her bed, awake, until they were done. About 10 minutes later, some local fireworks show began and it woke up the baby (so much for 3 AM…). I looked in on Katie and she was fast asleep.

Fritz passed out too, but the noise got Billy to hopping around from window to window. Alas for him, we live in a forest, practically, and he could barely see some of the lights over the tops of the trees. I remember a time when I was about his age or a little younger and I was still awake when the fireworks started. My mom helped me find the best view (I think she wanted to see too). It was neat being up past my bedtime, being quiet to not wake my siblings, and being able to watch something wonderful.

I am glad that people still set off firecrackers and fireworks and whatever else is legal (or not). I’m not so sure that we all appreciate the magnitude of what was done on that original July the 4th. Certainly, we all are guilty of taking our liberties for granted most of the time – and I thank God for that. To be ever cognizant of our blessings usually means that we experience otherwise or fear that we are in danger of losing them. But it is because we are so assured of our freedom that we grow numb to just how special that is.

And once a year we simulate the noise and excitement of war without all that messy bloodshed. I think the roman candles are my favorite. Nothing gets your heart pumping faster.

2 thoughts on “Independence Day Ruminations

  1. My neighbors all gathered in our yard and even brought chairs for our little show. The whole neighborhood was POPPING! People all over town let of the HUGEST display I'd ever seen and we could see it all from our backyard. It was sort of bittersweet this year. My neighbor muttered, under his breath, “we NEED this this year. People NEED this.”
    The kids were screaming and running around like crazy (safely away from the bonfire and fireworks, of course. I hope they remember it forever.

  2. “To be ever cognizant of our blessings usually means that we experience otherwise or fear that we are in danger of losing them. But it is because we are so assured of our freedom that we grow numb to just how special that is.”


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