"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I love fireworks.  There is something about them, they make me think of being a kid.  I have wonderful memories of fireworks, watching with my parents, down by the Falls, on a blanket. I remember it being warm, but cooler by the water.  There were bugs, and the grass was scratchy on my legs. And then they started.  I remember that it seemed like they were close enough to touch, that it was a blanket of light over the entire sky.  I remember leaning back on my dad, my neck hurting from craning it so far back for so long.

Kidlets at the Virgil Stampede

I remember being at Canada's Wonderland, one of the first year's that it was open.  They would (and maybe still do) set off fireworks from the mountain.  I remember being physically exhausted, sunburnt and body sore from a long day on the rides. But watching those fireworks-  I had a grin so big, my face hurt.  I loved standing and leaning on my parents, watching those amazing colours bloom and feeling the bangs in the pit of my stomach.

I remember being a teenager, and going to the Virgil Stampede with my best friends at the time, Jen, Christa, Carrie, and the rest of the gang.  I went on the Scrambler, and they started setting of the fireworks.  I watched the fireworks as I was tossed back and forth by the  big machine.  I could smell the vinegar and fries, hear the 70s rock, and watch this amazing light display.  I think I might have even been sitting with a boy, which just made everything more heightened and amazing.  It was so movie perfect, it could have been written by John Hughes.

Daddy and Sawyer, excited about what's coming

And now, I introduce my kids to the world of fireworks.  Geoff is take 'em or leave 'em, so they tend to get left more often than not.  Our first couple of attempts at fireworks weren't great.  About 6 years ago, we took Sebastian to see the Virgil fireworks.  I had actually worked Victoria Day, so Geoff came with Sebastian to pick me up.  For some reason, Geoff thought far enough ahead to bring a sweatshirt for me, but left Sebastian in a pair of pyjamas that were shorts.  So, Sebastian ended up dressed in my sweatshirt, and I froze.  Then Geoff, while helping Sebastian walk around, dropped him in a small ditch of rainwater.  So, now he is soaked and crying.  Needless to say, we left early, because it was so horrible.  I remember finally reaching the car, and turning to watch the lights in the sky.  For a long time, that was our last attempt at fireworks. Some years, it would be rainy and cold, so we wouldn't even consider it.  Other times, I would ask, and Geoff would say yes, and then forget.  He tends to forget things pretty easily, particularily when they aren't things that he is into.

Last year though, we finally made it work.  We had a nice sunny day, I packed weather appropriate things for the kids, we had a blanket to sit on, and all the stars aligned.  I think the kids ended up falling asleep, but I got to see the fireworks.

Tonight, the kids and I watched again.  Our neighbours behind us light them off every year.  Not a great show, but good enough.  About 9 o'clock, Sebastian, Sawyer and I all bundled off into the back yard.  We climbed up on the trampoline with a warm fuzzy blanket.  Sebastian leaned back against me, just like I did with my dad.  Sawyer laid back, with her hands under her head and watched the "stars".  She even tried to catch some in her hands.  The dog, suddenly scared, curled up behind us, pushing in as close as he could, shaking and trembling and whining.  Both kids would jump with the big bangs.  Sawyer thought the high pitched squealy ones were airplanes.  We clapped when it was a particularily good one, and mumbled and grumbled about the time it took in between.  Geoff came home a little before 10, and joined us. 
I love fireworks.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "now, summer begins."

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