The 4th of July might just be my favorite holiday. Most of this comes from a lazy perspective: there is little to no decorating involved, no gifts need to be researched, bought and wrapped, you CAN clean your house, but because most of the festivities take place outside you don’t HAVE to clean your house. Plus there’s the fact that it’s not cold outside AND you get to play with fire.
This was our first 4th of July in our new house and we rang it in with a bang! Okay so it was rainy most of the day, but that didn’t stop us from gorging ourselves on a fabulous 4th food feast, swimming, playing yard games and shooting off fireworks. Friends and family alike came for the day and stayed well into the evening. A good time was had by all. Well, until Baby O got his leg stuck in the door, Bam-Bam almost blew off a finger and Clark came close to setting himself on fire with a sparkler. So maybe I should add the disclaimer that a good time was had by all for the most part.
Yes, they are all okay. Although Bam-Bam had been bleeding from the leg earlier in the evening from something that was either accidentally shot at him or he unintentionally dropped on himself. Let me say this about Bam-Bam: he is self-disciplined when it comes to working out, eating right and generally taking care of himself. But also … he can be like a bull in a china shop … aka: a hot freaking mess. If something is going to happen, and it doesn’t happen to me, it’s going to happen to him. So am I sorry that his leg was bleeding? Yes. Am I surprised? No.
Watching our family and friends gather and celebrate just warmed the cockles of my heart. Yes, my cockles! It also brought back my earliest memories from July 4th’s of the past. When I was growing up, we didn’t always live near family and would fly back to the Midwest in the summers. I remember being given a punk (why are they called that anyway?) and a box of snakes. The sunshine was bright, the sky was blue, the clouds were puffy and the air was so humid it almost felt like it was pushing me into the ground. But there I was outside on the sidewalk, watching little black blocks smoke and hiss their way into long ropey-like snakes that would turn into dust with the touch of a finger. It was magical! Between the snakes, playing non-stop with my fun-loving cousins and my grandma’s fried chicken … I was a goner for the holiday.
This year Clark and Bam-Bam got the fireworks for our celebration. I told them about my lifelong love of the magical snakes, but they couldn’t find them. What they DID find, however, was much, much better. It was called the Pooping Puppy. Yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking. It was a cardboard dog with its tail in the air and a fuse sticking out of it’s pooping-area. I got the honor of lighting said fuse. And guess what? It “pooped” out the snakes of my childhood! I’m pretty sure I jumped up and down and clapped my hands with glee. The wondrous wonders of firecrackers!
They also picked out a special firework just for me … The Frog Princess. It was a ball of hot-pink foil with a frog-like face. I lit that sucker on fire and the eyes and mouth GLOWED OFF AND ON like magic while fountains of spark showers rained out the top of her round, froggy head. It was the best thing ever! I didn’t think to take pictures during the festivities so that you could have seen the Pooping Puppy and Frog Princess for yourselves.
So the next day, Harley and the baby grownups cleaned up the warzone-like backyard while I dragged my festivity-weary self to work. When I got home they had put all the firework trash in the firepit so we could just burn up the rest of the cardboard pieces in one fell swoop. Pretty ingenious, if you ask me. We waited until after dinner for the day-after burning and I came outside to water plants while Clark poured lighter fluid all over the trash/firepit. Harley and Clark sat close to the firepit on the patio while Powerpuff lounged nearby on the outside loveseat. It was a lovely evening. And then suddenly something decided it wasn’t finished showing off and decided to start the show all over again. I heard a loud whistling sound and looked over to see the firepit ablaze with fire and sparks. Unfortunately for Clark, it was pointed directly at him … and it was the Neon Patriot, our grand finale fountain. Oh, irony.
Clark jumps up to get out of the line of direct fire and I see Powerpuff standing inside looking on from behind the storm door. How she got in there so fast without actually moving, I don’t know. But who am I to question the power of the puff? I’m just standing there frozen, with my mouth open, holding the still-spraying hose. Do I think to point it at the fire and help? Nope! Just stood there. Harley was the only one who seemed unaffected. He just sat there gazing into the firework display at his feet and smoking a cigarette like it was an everyday occurrence. Thank goodness it didn’t last long and nobody was hurt. Of course, after it was all over, Bam-Bam sticks his out the door and says, “I told you that was going to happen.”
Someone at work told me last week to have a memorable 4th. I wasn’t sure at the time if that was a good thing or a bad thing. But they were right … if nothing else, it was memorable.