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What Happened to the Magic?

The Fourth of July with noise from all the community fireworks shows and neighborhood firework shenanigans has come and gone. For me, I am glad and relieved, and so are my dogs. I have noticed something has changed in me and that is I don't get as excited about the fourth as I did in the past.

As a kid, I did enjoy popping fireworks, and watching the firework show at the football field. I have wonderful childhood memories of the fireworks show (anyone remember when all the fireworks all went off at once?!), crowds of people and smells of burning fireworks and concession stand food. When I was a kid, I don't remember having a lot of fireworks to light but I do remember thinking that it was never going to "start getting dark" so we could go to the football field in the park.

When my boys were in school, we would meet up with other families and watch the fireworks show from a street close to the park. As my kids grew up, I would watch them pop fireworks, and anticipate when it would be time to go to meet up with the other families to watch the show. It was not as crowded, but I really enjoyed this time spent with friends and there were still the smells of burning fireworks and mosquitos. Although I could see the fireworks exploding in the sky, the beauty of the fireworks was lost a little bit and, secretly, I wished I was inside the football field and not on this nearby street watching the show. As those years passed, it became more of a visit with friends than to watch fireworks.

Now, I tend to avoid crowds of people and it seems that there are millions of mosquitos out every night. I wonder what happened to the excitement I felt in the past for this holiday. Now, as an "empty nester", buying fireworks or even going out to the fireworks show doesn't even enter my head. It is now just a regular day, with lots of talk on television of cookouts, fireworks safety, and texts with GIFs of a firework going off.

My neighbor's young adult grandkids and young great grandkids start arriving at his house and soon I (and my dogs) start to hear pops and booms, the sound of fireworks. I give the dogs their anxiety meds and wait for it all to end. But then it gets dark, and I find myself spraying down with bug spray, looking for a lawn chair and finding a spot where I can watch all the action. I think to myself "What are you doing out here?"

Then, the first rocket goes up and explodes in the nighttime sky with colors and glowing sparks and then it hits me-THERE IS THE MAGIC! The darkness, the bright colors and the laughter of the kids is the magic I have missed since the fourth of July last year! I guess I have a very short memory since this neighbor's family gathering happens every year, but I am sure glad it does. I don't like crowds, burning paper smells or mosquitos but I love the brightly colored lights in the nighttime sky and the delight of children's voices. I hope you had a Happy Fourth of July!



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