I spent the Fourth of July having lunch with a friend, then responsibly cleaning, doing laundry, and ironing the fat pile of clothes that sits in my room staring at me every day. I could have gone to a party, but decided to stay home and get things accomplished.
If I was any more boring, I would have to be dead. Going out would have been fun, but I told myself the same thing my ex-mother-in-law used to say, “Oh, I’ve seen lots of fireworks in my life, I don’t have to see them tonight.”
As the evening wore on, I ironed, watched a movie and a few episodes of Frankie and Grace, then heard the boom of fireworks and regretted not going out because no matter how old I get, I never get over the thrill of seeing those cascading sparkles against the navy sky. To let in some cool night air, I flung open the short casement window at the top of the stairs and noticed, that if I stood on my tiptoes, I could see flashes and sparkles in the distance.
The window is right above where my mom’s light up Jesus sits on a small wooden table, so I pulled up a chair, stood on it, and watched the show with Jesus beside me. Fireworks aren’t as spectacular far away as when you’re right under them with the colors exploding above you, in giant bursts of red, blue and gold.
But even from my little corner, they were a sweet reminder of the Fourth of Julys of my childhood — watching fireworks at the Spotlight 88 Drive-in — my mom thrilled by the beautiful colors. She always oohed and aahed with me, never losing her childlike sense of wonder. I like to think it was Mom who nudged me to look out the window for fireworks tonight, and sure enough, I looked and found them — and a little bit of my youth.
I wish you that sense of wonder all year long. May you always go out of your way to experience everything life has to offer — because the day you lose the ability to be awestruck by life’s magic — is the day you officially grow old.
Happy Birthday Mom and the U.S.A.!