We celebrated US Independence Day yesterday, and Josh and I set off fireworks in our front yard after dark.

As a small child, I loved fireworks on the Fourth. I looked forward to it all year. I would save money and ride my bike to the nearest fireworks stand (miles away from my suburban home) and buy the treasures as soon as my mother would let me. (I don’t think there was a law you had to be eighteen; if so, it was ignored. I was in single digits.)

Even when I was grown, I still enjoyed the ritual. When my sons were old enough, we used to go to the fairgrounds where we were allowed to set off our own fireworks in the parking lot, then watch the county’s professional display afterwards. My children loved it up until the county declared it too dangerous to let people bring their own pyrotechnics, and we went back to setting them off at home.

I’ve finally chilled on the noise and the smoke and the expense and the mess, though I still enjoyed what is likely my last night with Josh and fireworks. Seeing the joy on his adult face made it all worthwhile.

—2p

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