BUT I DIGRESS: 4th of July fireworks with my son give me more to celebrate than our freedom
I had the most wonderful Fourth of July (on the Third of July)!
My son, Gideon, and I went to his “Uncle” Gopher’s house in the country to catch Goph’s annual kick-ass fireworks display.
Being 6, Gid’s interest in the actual fireworks waxed and waned according to whatever nifty thing captured his fancy. At one point, that nifty thing was that always irresistible indicator that summer has arrived – the gloriously luminous firefly!
We spotted a few in the front yard where the fireworks were being ignited, but it didn’t take long before my boy realized that there were many, many more to be seen and, if luck was with us, caught in the backyard!
We chased many an elusive glowing bug to no avail until Gideon announced that he wanted to lie on his back in the grass and look at the fireworks and invited me to do the same, which, of course, I was more than tickled to do!
By this point, many, many neighbors of my rural pal had joined in the celebration, and the sky was a constant flutter of sparkling, shimmering blasts of color and the din of countless explosions created a glorious, cheerful din.
As we laid on our backs with our eyes to the sky, he reached out and grabbed my hand. We held each other’s hand tightly as we watched the fireworks bursting all around us.
I took my eyes from the spectacle above us to look at him as he watched, mesmerized with the show above us in the night sky.
His perfect, beautiful little face lit up in blues and reds and yellows with every explosion as we snuggled together in the otherwise pitch black of a summer night in the country was the most amazing thing I had ever seen, and the wonder of that moment took my breath away in a manner that no fireworks, no matter how brilliant or blazing, could ever equal.
I never knew there existed an emotion so absolutely good, so pure, so perfect.
And I knew at that instant that no matter what challenges I face in the future, as insurmountable as they may seem, I will have had the amazingly good fortune to have been there, at that moment, in that place, with my wonderful son. Win or lose, I will have the greatest memory in the history of the universe. It is wealth that defies description, a gift whose value exceeds all the riches of the world combined.
It was the greatest moment by far in a lifetime of exceptional moments.
And I know that no matter the state of the rest of the world, my son will continue to give me ever greater moments and memories until I, myself, am only a memory.
I am absolutely unworthy of this privilege and forever grateful to have been bestowed such good fortune.
Thank you, Gideon, for giving me a life worth living – a life full of wonder, love, and joy. I love you.