For the previous five years, our family celebrated the 4th of July Independence Day with, umm, not much. We stay at home, maybe a barbecued dinner, and get annoyed at the unfriendly neighbor across the street that does his own (illegal) fireworks show way into the late hours of the night. Well, actually anything past 7pm is late for us because it might wake our early-to-bed sleeping babies!
So, are you sitting down? This year we decided to be the wild and crazy people and venture out of the house and see fireworks in person. Imagine that?! I know. I know. How did this happen? Next I'll be writing about painting my toenails neon green and drinking caffeine past 4pm! Crazy. So, here's the scoop: my friend Rosanna bought a ton of tickets to the Hollywood Bowl, and, get this, took the chance that she could convince enough friends to buy them and join her. Risk taker, that girl. Anyway, we got the last four tickets (yep, meant to be) and bragged to all that would hear that we were going to the Bowl for 4th of July 'cause we are soooooo hip and awesome. I'm certain they were all cursing at us from like total jealousy.
Once the day finally came (the kids were wacked out all day in anticipation), we packed a yummy dinner, took the easy shuttle bus, and joined my friend and her fun group at the best picnic area there (Rosanna did the mad dash to the top of the hill - my hero!). Later, once we got to our seats, we listened to the LA Philharmonic play popular songs by great American composers and that's where I heard the cutest quote of the night from famous for his great one-liners Quinn: "I just heard the music slow down in tempo". Who says their minds go to mush in the summer?!
But, the biggest surprise of the night was when Dan Fogerty rocked out his set. My usually reserved and observant non-participators almost six-year-olds danced and jumped and wiggled and played air guitar and pumped their fists to every rock-n-roll song. Me and my man kept looking at each other like "who are these children and how do they know to do that???". Of all the kid shows they've gone to, I've never seen them enjoying themselves like that. There was no one around us dancing to explain this sudden burst of expression. Neither one of their parents are know for gettin' down with our boogie. It was like they were possessed by the music and they just had to dance and be free and had absolutely no inhibitions about it. I even grabbed Talia's hips and pushed her down to her seat a few times to test her, and she just bounced right back up into shaking her booty. Honestly, I still can't get over it.
The only explanation I can think of is simply their age of almost six. The last few months of school they came home with lots more scraps and bruises, and even their teacher commented that they are taking more chances and risks. Of course this makes me a little uneasy, but it's comforting to know it's completely appropriate and healthy for their age and all a part of detaching, gaining more independence, and becoming their own person. But, as much as they seem to be maturing and growing at lightening speed, it's nice to see that they are still just young kids, without a silly worry that people will think their exhuberance and dancing is stupid or lame and how much they can still be so much in the moment. I guess the best I can do is encourage and support them, sit back, and, like the fireworks, watch with sheer delight and awe.