It's that time of year when the barbecues and the flags and the awesome finger foods are carted out in celebration. It's also that time of year that we are forced to endure endless firework displays, usually put on by our festive neighbors. I used to appreciate my neighbor's love for fireworks, but then I had a kid and that appreciation significantly diminished. Now I think the things every mom thinks when her neighbor sets off fireworks, and most of those things don't necessarily resemble gratitude.
Yes, it is nice to have a neighborhood display during and around the 4th of July, especially a firework display that I didn't necessarily pay for. I can appreciate the beautiful colors and the work that my neighbor is putting into light fireworks not only for themselves, but for the rest of us. However, they're so freakin' loud and they last for far too long and they usually happen after I have put my kid down for the night. These days they're more of a hinderance than a fun celebration and I kind of just want to tell my neighbors to, you know, stop. I'm all for freedom and celebrating freedom but, like, does it have to be so loud?
I realize I sound older than I should and definitely like my own mother (and even grandmother, at this point) but I just can't appreciate the neighborhood fireworks like I used to. I have to assume (read: hope) that I'm not the only one, so here are a few things I think when my neighbor lights fireworks every 4th of July, that every mom probably thinks, too.
"What Was That?!"
Why do they have to make fireworks sound like gunshots or humungous explosions?! They're so jarring and so freakin' loud and even though you're probably aware of the date (maybe), you most certainly aren't ready to hear this ridiculously loud bang while you're making dinner or relaxing after a long day. Like, some warning would be nice, people.
"Oh, Yeah. I Almost Forgot."
I don't know about you, but I always forget that 4th of July is around the corner. In fact, my yearly reminder is always the fireworks that my neighbors set off, so I'll spend a few minutes contemplating the likelihood that we're under siege, until I remember that, nope, it's just the 4th of July celebrations and I've been too busy to remember.
"Maybe I Should Buy Some Sparklers For The Kids?"
My firework preference definitely changed after I had a kid. Prior to procreating, I wanted to buy the biggest, loudest, probably most expensive and definitely most dangerous fireworks around. Now? Well, now I'm all about sparklers and those snake ones that are so boring but still fascinating enough to hold my kid's attention. Safety first, people. Safety first.
"Do They Have To Be So Loud?"
Seriously, why?! I'm no demolition expert but can't they put some kind of silencer device on these damn things?!
"If They Wake Up My Kid, So Help Me..."
Every year, without fail, my neighbors manage to save the loudest, most obnoxious fireworks for after my kid falls asleep. And every year, without fail, I stare at the monitor and silently curse said neighbors, praying to the sleep gods that they don't wake up my kid. It's the worst.
"OK, Was That Last One Even A Firework?!"
I know that they're lighting fireworks but honestly, that last one did not sound festive.
"Why Are Fireworks Even A Thing?!"
Like, how did this become an American pastime that we've all collectively decided to embrace? They're loud and dangerous and expensive and oh wait. Yeah. They just woke up my kid and now I hate everyone.
"Well, At Least The Kids Love Them"
When the neighbors do light fireworks while my kid is awake, he sure does love them. He can sit and stare for hours (or until the fireworks end) just mesmerized by all the beautiful colors lighting up the sky. He'll even point and yell out the name of each color (as he's just learning them, as a toddler) and his eyes are huge and he's smiling and, well, it really does make it all worth it.
"This Better Stop As Soon As The 4th Of July Is Over"
Do not be one of those people who continue lighting fireworks on July 5. And July 6. And July 7. Just, no.
"OK, That Last One Was Pretty..."
It's hard not to love them, though. They are pretty cool.