Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July

We've been sweetly invited to the same fourth of July party every year since the girls were born.  And every year, we've gone over and snacked, enjoyed everyone's company, and left well before dark.  Because where we live, dark happens this time of year around 10:30.  And that was just too late for Clara and Elena to stay up.

But this year, we thought they were old enough to give it a shot, so we employed our camping rules to the situation.  These rules involve having no set bedtime or routine whatsoever, and just having pajamas (above) and sleeping bags (below) available from a pretty early hour.

When we'd gotten to 9:30pm and the girls were still going strong, Steve brought out the ear coverings he'd brought for the girls, and they were thrilled with them.

Around 10pm, the sun had set and it was getting darker and darker.  Elena spied "her moon!!" and exclaimed about it to everyone (VERY LOUDLY, because she wanted to wear the ear muffs way before the fireworks started and she was screaming everything).
While we were waiting for the fireworks to start we passed the time jumping with everyone else on the trampoline, spraying squirt guns, and playing ping pong.
Clara ventured down the street to the corner with Steve, and came running back to tell us all that their were little fireworks happening already! (Those would be the illegal fireworks, since the only ones allowed in town are the big display at the mall, which our friend's house is conveniently close to.  Even though they are illegal to let off, they are not illegal to buy...so you can see why all the little fireworks shows were happening).
We walked down to the corner to see all the littler fireworks going off.

Then we raced back to our friend's house to get ready to watch the big show from their yard.  Elena and Clara were very worried about this cat, Zoe, and kept going to check on her to make sure she wasn't scared.

Right before the fireworks started at 10:30, we got the girls laid out in their sleeping bags - Clara is caught here in an authentic yawn...
And Elena is doing fake-out sleeping...

But then the first big bursts lit up over our heads, and no one was sleepy anymore!

We wondered if they'd mind how very loud they were (since we were so close to where they were being let off the BOOM was pretty spectacular) but they had a wonderful time, and even pried their ear muffs off so they could hear how loud they really were from time to time.  Clara here is trying to "eat up those fireworks!"

And Elena is trying to catch them.  She kept saying: "I love that color! I love that color!  I love all the colors!"  She was blissed out by these.  She made up a little fireworks song that she sang while they went off, and then a little story ("Once upon a time there was a little girl named Lena.  She was watchin the fireworks and she ate one, and it turned her into a dragon!").

Both girls kept asking: "Can we come back here again??" and we had to explain that we will come back, but that this kind of show happens only once a year.

But what a special night of the  year it turned out to be.  It was just so enjoyable.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

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