As Americans, we seem to have a fascination with fireworks. This weekend I went to a fireworks show in our local park and it was the most endearing thing I have experienced yet this summer, save perhaps the local "parade" for the kickoff of baseball season filled with five floats of little kids pretty darn excited to be throwing candy instead of scampering after it. The park was full of townspeople and we are truly a small, small town so one wonders where everyone came from. Either way, it was a great fireworks display and I found myself looking around at the kids and smiling to myself.
With patriotic music playing and everyone temporarily quiet, I had time to think about this odd tradition. It's sort of like Santa Claus, really. So much a part of our culture that we never really think about it.
Funny how people love destruction and danger...as long as it is really controlled. (Think amusement parks.)
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good display of pyrotechnics. But I like to be far away from the lighting and potential ground explosion as possible. Blame Jimmy, a family friend who used to core crab apples and insert fire crackers to toss at me and his sister.
If you think about it, we are using the same supplies as entertainment as we use to make weaponry. Fireworks really do mimic in-air explosions created by war fare, right? Kind of an odd tribute.
Our local fireworks display was followed up with a movie night and I laughed out loud at Lego Movie with my daughter and the rest of our tiny town. Of course, "everything was awesome!"
I am a high school teacher in Wheatfield, Indiana, trying to reach out to my kids in a way that works for them.