The location is ideal. A curve in the land that juts into the bay, a grassy area that is bordered by both the bay and a canal. An unobstructed view of the bay and the island, specifically the jetty where Sunnyville stages an array of dazzling explosives to the delight of its citizens. The location offers further enticement in that it is a private yard, and the friends who live here hold a barbecue for the event yearly. They even fog the viewing area to cut back on pests.
And, for those with small children (me), a car can be parked to offer a muffled version of the display. Young children can sit in the protective shell of the van, and whimper or cry as the need takes them while older siblings, and sometimes parents, can enjoy the dazzling display. It is in this way that youngest has spent every 4th of her short life until this year.
Upon arrival she announced that she would be sitting outside to watch. She went as far as to declare this to the host and some guests. She was pumped-up and ready to go. She had her spot on the blanket and was dictating the terms of entering her area; no shoes, no food, etc. When the display began, she was firmly wedged on my lap. As the display continued, she had a comment for many, largely that they were much prettier outside of the car. "Brighter," I believe, was another word she used often. Eventually she was comfortable enough to sit beside me, and finally she was able to be on her own. Awe was apparent in her comments as the display continued. In glimpses to Boy, I could see that he was happily content, waiting for the personal show to begin, viewing this as an extravagant opening act. What is it exactly that boys of all ages love about blowing things up? I am not sure, but I could see that Boy was hopeful that this year we would be able to stay long enough to view our host's personal show in its entirety. A feat that is seldom accomplished, as Youngest is so shell-shocked from the public show that we often leave early.
It was a phenomenal show, lasting about 40 minutes. At the conclusion it was time for Youngest to have a potty break. We trekked up to the house and arrived back in time for the personal show. Now, the house being on the bay, many people offer personal shows. There is plenty of waterfront land, and little to no danger that you will catch a neighbor's house afire. Just as we were settling ourselves on the blanket, a whistling explosion of stars occurred above us. At this point, my brave little trouper, previously so proud that she could watch the show with no fear, began screaming at the top of her lungs. A high-pitched screeching filled with tears and terror. Quickly, I scooped her into my arms and brought her to the van. Where she insisted every window and door be closed through wrenching sobs of fear.
Between collecting Boy, blankets, misc. items and thanking our hosts, I sighed for Boy's disappointment. He was good-natured about the turn of events, even checking on Youngest while I gathered our things. But, I know he yearns for the day that he can put punk to fuse and be responsible for lighting the sky with a rainbow of light. Maybe next year.