Doughnuts, Blankets and Warm Hugs for the Fireworks Show
July 4th is a great excuse for hanging out with the kids
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“C’MON YA’LL! Let’s go!”
Those were the voices of excited and newly promoted elementary kids last year as they jumped out of the SUV like veteran skydivers and started racing to a favorite spot downtown to watch the fireworks. The look my wife and I shared meant two things: these kids are growing up fast, and we may need another box of Krispy Kreme donuts. Well, maybe I was the only one thinking about the donuts, but a guy can dream, right?
I’ve had the opportunity to interact with my children’s friends as well as my nieces and nephews. One of the many moments of interaction happened around the July 4th holiday last year and in years past. I particularly love this holiday because of the quality time spent with the kids. Secretly, I get excited the week leading up to it. I start behaving with a lot of energy, doing everything short of turning summersaults in the living room.
Summersaults may not be attainable, but where I do find success is in gathering a collective group of “little people” together on a yearly basis to watch one of the most spectacular firework shows in North Carolina. What does that mean for me? Well, for one, the kids anxiously sit and watch. That’s a plus, because large groups of kids to supervise could be the same as herding cats!
This year will be no different from the rest, with the exception of a new kid. Who will that be? We don’t know yet, but there is always a new kid. And we don’t mind. The more kids, the more boxes of donuts we will be happy purchase.
As the kids spread out blankets and settle into their resting places for the upcoming hour or so, I watch over them with donut box in hand. The boys and girls, with blankets, smiling and working together for a common cause, enjoy each other’s company while anticipating the first big “bang.” I sometimes think, “Why can’t they make their beds up this easily?” However, I simply let the thought float right back out of my mind.
The kids prepare their nest and then entertain themselves as the stars shine brightly. The adults, enjoying the site of love, the all grab their lawn chairs and position themselves behind the kids. With a donut in each person’s hand, the first blast sounds off. Eyes grow wide, but there is not one lost donut. The kids do typically lose a member of their tribe when my niece runs into my arms and buries her face in my chest. I just say, “It’s ok baby! You can sit with me!”
It feels good to be considered a warm and safe place to run to, even if it is just for a second or two.
G. I. Barrett, II, a short story author, novelist, freelance writer and poet, is a North Carolina native and proud father of a son and daughter. He has forthcoming novels, including The Rise & Fall of Love’s Gravitational Pull. Connect with Barrett on Twitter: @therealgeneralb, Instagram: @wordolo_g and Facebook: facebook.com/therealgeneralb.