As it tums out I'm not the only one in this family who has issues with firecrackers. Both of my children lost their shit minutes into the festivities this evening. They were OK at first and Owen even played with a few sparklers which I worried would get too close to his hair. Even the first few fircrackers that shot into the air and exploded didn't freak them out. I watched them both follow them up into the sky and giggle as they exploded. Then, without warning there were a series of really loud booms that did both kids in. Maybe one boom would have been OK but both my kids were done after that. The second picture of Owen is just about the time he lost it. There was also a kid who thought it was a good idea to make fun of Owen as he cried and Chris and I both let him have it. I decided getting out of there before I pulled A Hand That Rocks the Cradle was a good idea.
But before the fireworks even started we went to a great BBQ where Owen spent more time than I thought he would on one of those enclosed trampolines. I think those things are deathtraps because well, they are death traps but after he warmed up to it, we had a hard time getting him off. They also had horseshoes in the back yard and Owen turned one of the pits into a sandbox. He played with some trucks he found and seemed to enjoy himself. River tried over and over again to scramble towards the trampoline but that was out of the question. She is waaaayy too small for that ER visit.
There was lots of yummy food and the sweet cornbread (Thanks Jena!) that I brought disappeared quickly. After River ate 1/2 pound of strawberries by herself she started to get fussy so we loaded everything up and walked back towards the van which is where they were setting up the fireworks. Her mood lightened with the move so we decided to try and stay for a while so River could see her first fireworks and Owen could revisit them. We weren't there long before we loaded up the van and hit the road back to Maryland. It's generally only an hour and fifteen minute drive.
It was kind of nice because we left a little after 9 PM so as we drove by DC we could see the fireworks on The Mall on one side and the fireworks at The National Harbor on the other. It was pretty groovy til we got to The Woodrow Wilson Bridge and everyone stopped their cars to watch. On the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, seriously? Cops were beeping and flashing their lights. I can't imagine what would possess someone to stop their car on the bridge. I think they were all crackpots. Some people actually got out of their cars and stood there watching. WTF?
This is the perfect way to see fireworks, in the privacy of out own van, while it's still moving. We rolled the window down as we creeped across the bridge so Owen could see them and perhaps hear, which he could. He still wasn't a fan and did much better when the window was up.
Note to self: Next year, load up the family and drive past DC to see the fireworks but don't stop. That way we can see, but not hear or smell and we'll miss all the traffic afterwards, as long as we avoid the friggen Woodrow Wilson Bridge!
When I nestled the van into the driveway, we unloaded the kids who were just spent. I think it was 10:30, a full 3 hours after their regular bedtime so we'd been on borrowed time for half of the night. Of course we saw the fireworks over the hill as we drove towards our house so we knew we'd hear them and we did as we stood in the driveway. Owen was over it and we had to carry his 49 pound shivering self into the house like we were running through mortar fire.
Needless to say, they were both asleep within minutes. Even the atomic bomb that someone busted out at 11 PM didn't wake them up but it scared the shit out of me.
We get to do it all over again next year! More fireworks! Yay.......NOT.