Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rocketman

 
One of the things that I looked forward to each summer as a child was the Fourth of July.

I LOVED the Fourth of July.

It would always begin with my father taking my brother and I to a local fireworks stand and letting us pick out an array of fares. Each year I pretty much went for the same menagerie: lady fingers, jumping jacks, smoke bombs, tanks and a parachute man. My brother was a Black Cat kind of guy. For a period of about four days we would then pretty much spend sunup to sundown out in our driveway or at friend's houses blowing up everything we could.

Lady fingers under old coffee cans.

Smoke bombs down the storm sewer so the smoke would come out the culvert across the street.

Homemade works made from stringing together a combination of any of the above fireworks.

It wasn't truly summer until we blew something up.

So, you can imagine my dismay when I grew up and moved away and found that my new city had actually outlawed fireworks.

"Fun-haters," I said to myself. I pitied the children growing up without such an American pastime.

As the years went by, I became accustomed to the firework-less Fourth of July's.

Then came the little man.

And the return of my lamentation against the city's fireworks ban.

I wanted the little man to experience the fun I had a child. Sure, the rational parent/adult side of me understands the rationale for the ban – with the burning down of houses, bodily harm, etc. – but the nostalgic part of me wanted the little man to experience at least some of the fun I experienced as a child.

So, this week as the Fourth of July rolled around, I again found myself remember the good ol' days and wishing the little man and I had at least one smoke bomb to ignite. However, with the ongoing drought and super heat wave we've been experiencing, things are even drier than usual. Which also meant the local police department was also more vigilant and methodical in their search for fireworks rebels.

Then entered my husband – the engineer.

One of the benefits of marrying and engineer is that they can fix anything. They can also devise ways to make just about anything.

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. And when your city bans all rockets that ignite with fire, you simply make rockets powered by water and compressed air.

No flame. No explosions.

No ban.

So, after a short stop to a few stores for some PVC pipe, spray paint, Styrofoam cones and assorted pieces, the little man and the husband were quick to assemble our legal Fourth of July rockets.

And even though it isn't quite the same as when I was a child, the little man spent the day setting off his own rockets on this summer holiday.

And making the next generation of fond Fourth of July memories.

video

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Avoidance

I can't believe it's been so long since I last sat down to type out a post for this blog. As a writer you would think that this would be easy for me and that it really didn't take any time at all for me to whip up a new update and post it – and you would be right.

So then you're probably wondering why it has been so long – maybe even wondering if I've been avoiding this blog or putting it off on purpose – and you would be right again.

Writing for me has always come easy and has always been an outlet for me to share anything and everything that was on my mind. Which is probably the most difficult challenge I've encountered since starting this blog.

As I'm sure you all know, my family is my life. I had a very difficult time bringing the little man into the world and we were so very close to losing him, even before we got to meet him. When he was finally born – and was born as healthy as can be – even my doctors were baffled at how well the situation turned out and cheered with us when were able to walk out of the hospital with him just two days later.

For those close to us, I know that they probably didn't think we would have another child. Truth be told, we weren't sure we would have another child. But I knew myself enough to know that I wasn't ready to make that decision – either way – just yet.

And so we waited until we were ready to make that decision …

So, five years later, when the husband and I finally decided to take that chance again, I began planning my next post for this blog as the BIG announcement that the little man was going to be a BIG brother.

But, such is life.

I found myself putting off that post month after month because there was no announcement to be made. Then another month passed.

And another.

And another.

Which is when I first really started avoiding this blog. I knew if I sat down to type, I would find myself sharing everything. And that wasn't something I wanted to share, at least not yet.

For those of you who don't know me as well personally, I work at an adoption agency. While normally this is something I love being a part of, my own struggles with having another baby I think were compounded even more each day as I worked with family upon family who also found themselves not being able to make that BIG announcement to friends and family.

And just when I began to really feel sorry for myself, I finally realized that all of those stories were reminding me of the wrong thing. Instead of reminding me of my own struggles in having another baby, they should be reminding me of what I do have.

A beautiful, healthy little man.

And that is much more than a lot of people in this world ever get to have.

And just as I began thinking about sitting down to write a new much needed post to this blog about the little man's continuing obsession with cowboys, it happened.

Two pink lines staring back at me from the pregnancy test = positive.

And one BIG surprise for all of those family members and friends who thought for sure one high-risk pregnancy was enough for us.