Fireworks, or rather, the lack of them awaiting us on July 4th: I live in central Texas. We’re in a drought and triple digit heat. It’s like reliving 2009 all over again, minus the third trimester pregnancy. But this year the government and fire fighters are doing something about it: banning, canceling, or “postponing” any use of fireworks.
I grew up in Iowa.
Personal fireworks were not allowed, and I spent my childhood allowed to set off two things: sparklers and snakes. That’s it.
It wasn’t enough to dampen my love of July 4th, the excitement and anticipation of The Big Show, sitting close enough you could feel the professional firework explosions as the colors rained above you, flinching as the Big Booms echoed off any buildings.
It was magic.
When I moved to Texas eight years ago, I learned a new joy: setting off my fireworks and watching my neighbors do the same.
CG and I were kids again.
Then we procreated.
Suddenly, July 4th and the freedom to set off fireworks on our own street was no longer a blessing, but an event transforming us into That Neighbor.
You know the one? Trying to rain on everyone else’s fun because Thunder Kings exploded forty feet from the baby’s bedroom and he’s already woken up pissed off once?
Yup. That was me.
So when I heard personal fireworks were banned this year, I viewed it from The Mom standpoint: “Thank God I don’t have to be That Neighbor, yelling at kids and parents to please move elsewhere or stop by 10 PM.”
Thursday, as I searched for professional fire works displays in the area, I was shocked to discover the truth.
There aren’t any. At all.
I don’t understand.
Every year, minus one, has meant little rainfall after June 1st. We even had a torrential downpour a few weeks ago, breaking our months of almost no rain.
Every year, minus one, it’s been in triple digit heat. In 2009, it was 105 degrees. To enjoy the outdoors, we donned bathing suits and ran in the sprinklers, then stayed wet setting off our fireworks (and watching the neighbors). It was still 104 when we went inside at 10 PM.
Every year, I run my sprinkler for 5 minutes at dusk “just in case” a spark flies.
But this year is special.
This year is somehow much worse.
They banned personal fireworks. I can live with that.
They banned the selling of fireworks. What?
They banned the professional displays or postponed them.
What. The. Frak.
They don’t know what the conditions will be like on July 4th.
Fires are bad, don’t get me wrong, but isn’t there ONE place they could’ve taken excessive measures to make it safe? Like… over a lake?
I understand the practicality.
I embrace the personal fireworks ban – it will be nice to have one year I don’t have to be Evil Mommy protecting her babies from the loud noises during bedtime. And people can be total idiots where firework safety is concerned.
But I really wish I had a way to show it to Lil Diva – who absolutely LOVED the professional display last year – before she develops the fear The Tackler did of any loud boom.
Or shoot Roman candles – the only firework The Tackler really likes.
To take away all of the fireworks feels like banning Christmas lights at Christmas – removing the one thing weaving the magic. As a child or an adult.
It makes me wish we planned a trip elsewhere because the things we typically enjoy on the 4th won’t be happening.
I guess there’s always next year.
What are your 4th of July plans???