And So The Fear Begins, a 4th of July Story.

Saturday July 3rd, Mike and I thought it would be fun to brave the crowds at Dam and go watch the annual fireworks. It was a beautiful clear night, perfect for being outside celebrating. We thought the kids would have a blast eating ice cream, playing at the playground, and of course watching the gorgeous fireworks light up the night sky.

The crowd at the dam gets so big, that at some point in the evening the parking lots and surrounding grassy areas become too full, so the police shut everything down, including the parkway! By the time we got there, we were told to turn around and find a side street to park on. Well, thank the GPS Gods for built-in navigation! We were able to find a very close side street that was virtually empty. There was just one catch — it was at the top of a hill! But only about a 10 minute walk from the dam.

Once we got to the dam, we immediately stood in the ice cream line. There was only one Mr. Softie truck and about a million people. Not smart planning if you ask me. But, we stood in the line nonetheless because the girls wanted ice cream and it was hot. This is where I learned a very interesting fact about Canada. The conversation happened between the two morons — I mean people — behind me. It went a little something like this:

Moron #1: What language is Canadian?

Moron #2: I think it’s French.

Moron #1: That’s weird. I wonder why?

Moron #2: Because all Canadians are from France.

See, you learn something new everyday! I’ll just add right here, that I am Canadian. I however, did not come from France, nor did any member of my family. I know. My Mum is a genealogy enthusiast and has tracked my family, on both sides, back to the early 1600s. Not a French person to be found. English, Irish, German, Norwegian, Scottish, yes. French, no. *Sigh* I didn’t correct him. Why bother?

Anyhoo, 40 minutes later, the girls got to eat their ice cream, which I have to admit, looked pretty darn good after waiting that long! After ice cream we played at the playground for a little while — beyond chaotic! — then it was time to claim a little plot of land to watch the fireworks. We lucked out and quickly found a nice little alcove to the side of the dam. The view was perfect!

Then the fireworks started. I think I know why these spots were still available…we were VERY close to the fireworks! I’m talking, less than a football field for sure! It was so loud!!! There was no warning when they were going to start, so all of a sudden, it was like a fricken canon went off! We all jumped and the girls got really scared. K sat with her hands over her ears and crying to leave. We tried to talk to her and M to tell them it was safe. We tried to ask them about the pretty colors and the fun shapes to make it fun, but neither of them were interested. Both of them were begging to leave! Finally, halfway through, we figured we’d annoyed our neighbors enough and we made our less than quiet escape. During our walk back to the car, K kept her ears covered until she was sure the fireworks were done.

Because of our super secret parking spot, and the fact that we left before the finale, we were on the road in record time and home well ahead of schedule. The whole way home the girls were very insistent on the fact that they NEVER EVER wanted to see fireworks again. We told them that was fine. They wouldn’t have to watch anymore again until maybe next year at the earliest.

That was on the 3rd…

On the 4th, our friends had a backyard Barbecue. There was good food, good conversation, and of course good friends. A great time was had by all, until the fireworks started…

After the sun set, they made a small fire in the pit so all the kids (and plenty of adults too) could make smores. After devouring the smores, the kids were running around on the deck playing again, happily minding their own business. Out of nowhere, a huge crack broke through the night. It came from a neighboring yard where they had started setting off their own private fireworks. Poor K was so scared! She gave a little scream and turned to run into the house for safety. Unfortunately for her, someone had been thoughtful and closed the sliding glass door to keep the heat out of the house. K didn’t even know what hit her when she ran full force into the glass door, bounced off and fell on her tush on the deck! She was so sad and scared at the same time. I picked her up and took her inside to safety and tried my best not to laugh while she cried. I may have failed a little…

After the glass door incident, we decided it was probably a good time to leave. K had been thoroughly traumatized again by the evil fireworks and it was well past bedtime. We quickly said our goodbyes and left. In the car on the way home, K once again stated that she NEVER wanted to see fireworks again! EVER…

We promised her that the fireworks were over, that she was safe. We said, “maybe next year,” to which she promptly yelled, “no!” I wish I could say that we’d been able to keep that promise, but no. The universe had other plans for our little K. We turned the corner onto our street, and there was a semi professional fireworks display in progress practically over our house! Seriously, K just couldn’t catch a freaking break!

Needless to say, when we got out of the car and tried to stand on the driveway to watch, K was not having any part of it. She screamed and clung to me like she was going to be attacked by a pack of hungry coyotes! Poor girl is so afraid of ‘the noisy rockets’ that she can’t even be outside when she hears them. She was willing to watch a little through the living room window from the safety of the house but that’s it. Good thing the holiday weekend is finally over. I’m not sure how much more little K could take!

Maybe next year we’ll just stay home and make popcorn and enjoy the fireworks from inside the comfort and safety of our own house. Maybe by next year K will have forgotten about the noisy rockets and will be able to enjoy the celebration of the 4th of July.  Maybe, just maybe, this fear of fireworks won’t last until next summer…


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  1. Shana Brodsky says:

    I don’t know, I’m still scared of fireworks and I’m a grown up, lol. BTW your children are absolutely adorable, it was great meeting them on the 4th.

    1. hthurmeier says:

      It was great meeting your family too, Shana! It’s nice to finally have faces to go with the names. I can’t believe how smily Jake is! Such a cutie-pie.

  2. Wendy Marcus says:

    My husband LOVES fireworks. When my son was little, he hated them. For many years we parked and watched from inside the car. With the windows closed. A kid tape blasting from the cassette player. A child on each of our laps with their hands over their ears and their eyes closed.

    One year we went to fireworks in town. (Now my kids love them.) My husband found us a great spot…..that turned out to be directly underneath them. Suddenly burning ash started floating down around us, the air choked with smoke. We still go, but now we’re careful to keep our distance!

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