Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Fireworks and the 4th

When I was small, fireworks were a scary thing.

My mom thought they were scary, so I did too. My mom thought they were too loud, so I did too. She had been in the path of a stray firecracker when she was 10, and had lost some of her hearing as a result--her fear was real and based in experience, and my dad's tepid enthusiasm could not stand against it. Then personal fireworks began to become illegal in California anyway. My mom was relieved, and I didn't mind too much.

When I married we still lived in California, so we didn't do our own. We dutifully went to the local show, oohed and aahed, and went home.

Then we moved to the Fireworks Capital, here in Montana. And my husband, along with nearly every other man and many women here, fell in love with fireworks. Just about everything is legal here. You can do rockets, professional-looking blasts that fill the sky, shapes, fireworks that twist and twirl and zoom and BOOM and...

Man, he has fun. And my mom and stepdad moved here too, and my stepdad has joined in with full vigor. And my mom? She still doesn't like them. She still puts her hands over her ears, even for the little ones. But somehow along the way I've managed to shed her fears, and I don't think I ever really had any of my own. I sit with my daughter and laugh when the big ones go off just above us, cheer when Daddy and Opa set their tandem rockets just right, and oooh and aaah all night.

Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July.

Medieval Word of the Day: falding: A kind of coarse woollen cloth; frieze.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Oddly enough, we spent the 4th in Montana this year.

We were driving from Yellowstone to Livingston (or near Livingston, anyway, to a house we'd rented on the river) when it came time for fireworks. All along the highway, silhouetted against the dark skirts of the mountains, we saw exploding fireworks blooming like exotic flowers, silently or with distant thunder.

It was enchanting.