I’m not sure why, but I’ve been on a singular mission for a few weeks now to discover the best Independence Day fireworks experience for my family. My aim is, of course, ‘fun-family-happy times’ and to avoid at all cost ‘all-hell-breaking-loose’. It’s a serious tightrope walk; a strange balance every July.
This brings me back to “the incident” last year. My husband and I had a nice shindig at our home. We had a yummy barbecue, glow sticks, music and a whole lot of friends for a wonderful Fourth of July celebration. As twilight approached, our little party began to disband. We said goodbye to our friends as they headed off in different directions to enjoy their own fireworks experience. We turned to each other, exhausted, shutting the door on a great evening, content with a fine party. We sat on the couch zoning out to a sitcom or something, when the boys looked at us with extremely offended facial expressions. Ugh, OOPS! “I’m sorry, boys, mom and dad are too tired for fireworks”, didn’t cut it with them…not even a little. What was worse? They could hear the fireworks going off just a few miles down the road…but, not enough to view them from our home. Ugh! We totally screwed up! The boys continue to remind us of our foible.
That is why we are definitely doing fireworks this year, no matter what!!
Independence Day and the imaginings in which it conjures is in all of our hearts. It’s like corn on the cob, American flags, watermelon and watching your older brother shoot off Bottle Rockets in the cul-de-sac. Can it be that Independence Day is the sister of Christmas? Truly a special place in our hearts that no actual event can come close to fulfilling. It’s our great imagination, impossibly satisfied. A true fantasy; the dream of the perfect Christmas, the perfectly imagined Fourth of July.
So, a few days ago, my husband came up with a great idea of going to the A’s game. Since most of the greater Contra Costa County area will not be providing a fireworks show this Fourth of July, it seemed like an ideal alternative. We purchased tickets to the July 3 game against the Red Sox. (Disclaimer: We are Giants Fans, people!) We have decided that we are willing to sacrifice (this once) our Giants loyalty to enjoy fireworks at an A’s game.
With a new lease on our Fourth of July fireworks mission…to the A’s game we go. Yet, with two special needs dudes in tow, there are a few things to contemplate.
SOUND: We bought these great headphones for our son (the dude with sensitive hearing). It really blocks sound and is quite comfortable to wear. Hopefully, my son will adapt to wearing them during the fireworks display. The headphones were bought some time ago when he was having trouble with loud sounds on his bus ride home from school. Our little dude was very happy with plugging in to his iPod and relaxing during the ride home. These particular headphones by Scullcandy really muffle sound whether he’s plugged in or not.
TIME: We are going with some friends who have a child with special needs. They had a good idea to get to the ballpark late (5th or 6th inning) so that the kids won’t be too sacked by the time the fireworks start. In years past, this has always been the toughest challenge of the late evening festivities. We’ve had a handful of Fourth of July busts when we set out too early, only to have to throw in the towel by sundown. The best part of the show is the end, but if they are whining by then, it’s just not worth it.
FAMILIAR FOOD/ETC.: My husband and I rely on and are a little too paranoid about bringing their usually snacks on outings. By our experiences, predictable items, i.e. “the usual” food, toys, games, etc. help a ton. My friend and I are meeting tomorrow to brainstorm some creative distrations for the boys (just in case).
In four days, our family will be heading to the Oakland Coliseum to attempt a wish fulfillment of a memorable Fourth of July experience. Fingers crossed.
I’d love to hear about how your family celebrates the Fourth, especially if you are a Special Needs family. 🙂