In Which My Family Is Nearly Blown to Smithereens

For Pioneer Day, our ward puts on a party. There’s food, fireworks, more food, and snow cones! My father-in-law is in Utah already, so he decides to join us.

John is uncertain about staying up to party. He is also uncertain about Grandpa, who is still a little foreign to him.

We buy some chips and rolls at the Creamery. (PSA for Canadians: there are “All Dressed” chips at the Creamery.) Then we head down to Kiwanis Park, where John runs around with the neighbor kids, plays with a ball, and eats irresponsible amounts of Mom and Dad’s food.

Status: John likes parties.

After a while, everybody’s belly is full, and we start to settle down to wait for the fireworks.

Status: John is super tired. John does not like parties.

A group of people set off some end-of-the-driveway fireworks across the park, while we’re waiting for the real deal. John’s mouth drops open. About this time, Ethan brings us a snow cone, and we just sit on the grass, eating snow cones while John signs “more” in between fireworks.

Status: John loves fireworks. John also loves snow cones. I am Mom of the Year.

After about half an hour of the driveway variety – and after John has eaten at least half of my snow cone – we hear the first few professional fireworks go off. I suddenly realize that the place we’re sitting is only about 30 feet from the fireworks themselves. This is a great show.

Status: John is terrified. Fireworks are the devil.

I pick up a screaming John and leave my husband and father-in-law to head for the edge of the park, where the fireworks won’t be exploding directly over our heads. John is screaming. I am missing some really good fireworks. After walking about 20 feet, I hear surprised sounds from the crowd behind me and turn around to see a few large fireworks bounce off the ground just behind my husband’s head, another one land in a group of blanket-sitters, and one explode into a pine tree, which fortunately does not ignite. I start walking a little faster.

Status: John thinks we’re in a war zone. He’s probably scarred for life. I am no longer Mom of the Year.

After walking (and screaming) for a good two or three minutes, we reach the edge of the park, where nobody is sitting, we get the whole lawn to ourselves, and the fireworks look much smaller. My husband texts us to ask where we are, and slowly start walking to join us. We watch the fireworks from a safe distance behind the trees, and John calms down. He still climbs up my torso for the big ones, but he starts signing “more” again, so maybe he isn’t scarred for life.

Status: John loves fireworks, but only from a safe distance.

After a grand finale (which is terrifying, but still prompts a request for more), we pack up, put the baby in the stroller, and come home. It’s 10:30. John walks into his room, shuts the door, and walks to his crib. I put him to bed.

Status: John is exhausted. ♦

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