The next year, we decided to go downtown and drive to the top of a parking deck to watch the city fireworks. There were a host less people on that parking deck, but there were other tall buildings between us and the fireworks. We heard more than we saw. How can one fully enjoy beautiful glittering lights when you can only see the very highest ones?
Last year, we realized that the road next to the airport gives a great view of the city fireworks! Even better, it was just minutes from our house. So we parked along the road and settled in on the hood of our car. And then--zzzzz!! SLAP! Mosquitoes. The previous two years it had been too hot for mosquitoes to be out, but this night they were swarming in huge hoards--all around me. How can one fully enjoy beautiful glittering lights when the buzzing of bugs is louder than the booming of the fireworks?
This year, I wanted a perfect fireworks experience. I thought the community show was better than the city show, and since our company (and our relative closeness to the band) were the only problems last time, I figured those could easily be avoided. I found out another family would be there, and they sit on the opposite end from the band. I thought, Ah ha! This year will be perfect. We found them in line and followed them back to their quilt and saw--the same people from four years ago. It's okay, though, I thought. Because the babies from last time are grown more and surely it will be much better. As soon as the first firework exploded, four children directly behind me start a running commentary on the lights, their glowsticks, and pretty much how their summer in general is going. All four. All at once, talking over each other. HOW CAN ONE ENJOY THE FIREWORKS WITH KIDS JABBERING NONSENSE QUITE LOUDLY???
Oops, I suddenly see a common denominator. Me. All four years, something different happened that prevented me from enjoying the fireworks. It's kinda like that one kid in the classroom. No matter who he sits next to, he always gets in trouble. After a while you realize--it's not all the other kids, it's that one kid. Shouldn't I be more concentrated on doing what I can to enjoy myself (like remembering to bring bug spray) and then just enjoying myself despite the factors I can't control (like tall buildings or annoying children)? Maybe next year I can remember that I really am the only one who can make watching fireworks unpleasant for myself. And maybe next year, instead of writing about all the things that remove my focus from the fireworks, I can focus on parallels between the bombs bursting in the air of the past and the fireworks display of the present.