We moved into our house four years ago, right around July Fourth, and that first year I vaguely remember watching a few fireworks from our porch, where I didn't enjoy them as much I prayed my way through that they wouldn't wake up then-five-months-old Kyle.
I don't remember being able to see the fireworks too clearly, or at least I assume that I couldn't see them too clearly, because the next year we piled into the car and headed to the big, open field and festival our town throws in honor of the holiday and where we could (or so we thought) better see the fireworks show.
The year after that, we drove a couple blocks and watched them from a big, open parking lot because we got a late start.
Last year, we headed back to the festival.
This year, Kyle was a little timid about the whole thing, though. He doesn't particularly like loud noises (who can blame him? I find loud noises rather annoying), and he didn't seem all that excited about going to the festival just to listen to loud noises, no matter how many bounce houses we promised him. We invited my mom and Mike's parents and some friends over and told everyone we'd just play it by ear, either pile in the car and head to the festival or try to see some of the higher fireworks from our backyard. In the meantime, I made festive sangria (possibly the best sangria I've ever had; make this TODAY) and Mike bought sparklers and poppers to keep everyone entertained. (Kyle doesn't like loud noises, but he absolutely loved those poppers. So much so that Mike had to go out and buy more the next day. I don't understand four year olds either.)
Sangria. Seriously, so good.
For whatever reason -- those vagueish memories from 2009? our own unimpressive intelligence? -- we just assumed our backyard wasn't the best place to see them, and that we'd certainly make DO, if we had to, but it wasn't ideal or anything.
But we did end up staying home and BOY were we wrong about our backyard. We're idiots, basically.
We can see our town's fireworks show PERFECTLY. PER. FECT. LY. We had fold-up chairs and blankets and drinks and it was the best July Fourth holiday I can honestly remember. The festival is fun, but walking into our backyard without any of the crowds or parking hassles is WAY more fun. Like so much more fun we're never going to the festival again, sorry town festival!
After the show, we even lit and released some lanterns we'd purchased a few months ago, inspired by our trip to Puerto Rico (minus the almost-burning-buildings-down part, that wasn't very inspiring). My particular lantern ripped pre-flight, but I will not read too much into THAT or what it might mean for my wishes.
I hope yours was equally wonderful.
Also, next year, fireworks watching in our yard. You're invited.