Last night was Meowie’s first Fourth of July, and our first in the Nation’s Capital.
Let me begin by saying that I love fireworks as much as I hate crowds.
Have I ever mentioned I’m a bit of an agoraphobic? I just don’t do well in open, crowded areas (especially those full of strangers. *cringe*). I kind of start to feel clammy and cold and I get that weird feeling of ice dripping down my back, and I start becoming very aware of my breath.
But back to the 4th: I love fireworks. I really love fireworks.
I even love other people’s fireworks, and I honestly am not too concerned if *they* are putting their lives on the line, as long as I’m getting a good show. What I mean to say is that I am not concerned as long as they do not seem to be so: I have my own self-preservation to think about, and you’d better believe that I’ll be protecting the baby and my nearest and dearest. I will also pitch a major fit if the male element in our family decides to buy anything other than sparklers.
As a good person –for the main part– that I am, I also hope that our fun isn’t interrupted by an accident or a tragedy. One of my uncles back in South America had his hand eternally drawn into a grotesque peace sign of sorts; it was the result of too much testosterone and youth, and too little sense. But I am aware that firewoks and stupidity/recklessness do NOT mix. In one of the listserves where I lurk, someone posted angry vitriol about others’ fireworks and how stupid people who organize private displays are, and shouldn’t it all be banned. This guy was also worried about how the firework noise would affect the baby. I must admit, I was swayed –inasmuch as I thought the guy who posted it was a total pussy, with a capital P-U-S-S-Y.
But damn that guy, he got me thinking. And so that racked up one more reason to skip the crowds gathering just about 20 blocks to the west, and see if our new house would deliver the goods and soar over the clearing of trees, permitting a nice view of the pyrotechnics.
And wouldn’t you know, THIS CITY IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!
I don’t think that was clear enough.
THIS CITY AND ITS FIREWORKS, PRIVATE OR PUBLIC, ARE FRIGGIN’ AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!
How else can you catalogue a place where you can get BEAUTIFUL and DAZZLING fireworks in a THREE-HUNDRED-AND-SIXTY-DEGREE array?!?!?!?!?!?
O M G, people.
I know this sounds immature and kinda silly, but I didn’t even know where to look. And every time one of those explosions went off and we scrambled to see where the next flaming octopus or bevy or stars or chrysanthemum would streak the sky, I couldn’t help but smile and feel my chest swell with giddy patriotism (I know, schmaltz) and the earnest wish for MORE. FIREWORKS!
The lights kept appearing in the sky well past 10:30. The baby would look up and all around, but mostly he’d look at us. He didn’t seem spooked, but he wasn’t completely captivated either. I insist: we have a critic in the house.
Maybe it’s man’s million-year love affair with fire– that elusive and life-sustaining phantom. Or maybe it’s just man’s love affair with fun/danger: you know it could be bad, but you just gotta.
Which brings me to the baby: when childproofing your house, just let the baby roam around for three seconds: invariably, the little buttheads will find the most dangerous thing with which to play in that time frame, flat. And then, when removed by a verklempt parent, cry as if they had been removed from the only friend they’d ever made in the world.
Place a certain baby I know in a nicely confined, well-ventilated area with a cushy mat and plenty of toys, and his little treacherous diapered butt figures out how to inchworm-crawl out of the mat and go straight for the sharp wooden banister — or anything resembling a baluster, preferably with razor-sharp edges. He will also attempt to stand right by said object and then proceed to topple and get nice satan-shaped welts.
Please don’t think I’m a bad mother. I can only run so fast to rescue him.