Holidays when the kids are little have their own way of grabbing your attention as if in a face-hold and not allowing you a single thought until the moment is over. With those early years and the overwhelming need to protect, entertain, and feed our children, the reflective thoughts about the moment get put on the backburner for one day when you might actually entertain a free thought.
That day is today for me.
With my oldest now just graduated from college and my youngest in middle school, the days are full of busy-ness –but the time between the moments allow me to actually have a thought and process it.
This is what I reflected on while watching the 4th of July fireworks reflect from my rearview mirror this year.
Gone are the fourth of July days of preparing a bicycle for that early morning parade. No more purchases of crepe paper and mini flags to adorn a tricycle that will end up not being ridden when the little one decides he wants to be carried for the mile walk. No more packing a suitcase full of toys, snacks and mosquito repellent to take along for the waiting of the evening fireworks display.
This fourth of July had most in the family going their separate ways. Then as night began to fall, in anticipation of the fireworks, my son asked for a ride for him and his friends to go to the display. After dropping them off, I pulled over on the side of the road to watch the fireworks from my car.
At that moment it was the independence of my children I was reflecting on more than the independence of my country. But that night with every beautiful burst of light shooting across the sky, I started to believe the fireworks were symbolic of that precious thing called childhood.
With a burst of beauty, it all begins. At times loud, but always exciting, it has your full attention. You swear you will never take it for granted. But somehow you do. Then, when you think you have seen it all, something surprises you that takes your breath away, once again. Sometimes you think it’s preparing for the finale, but before you know it, you are given a little bit more. And a little bit more.
And then you start to kid yourself and pretend it will never end. But the fireworks and childhood always seem to end before you are completely ready to admit it’s time.