Festive Fourth

Zachary is sleeping now, but I’d like to think an active Fourth of July had something to do with his unconscious state despite the more-than-audible noise of fireworks and race cars. (The racing, of course, he’s more than accustomed to by now.)

The morning started off like any other, with a wakeup call of approximately 6 a.m. despite both G&Z needing far more sleep than that. After breakfast, there was play and "The Wizard of Oz" before we ultimately decided to head over to Worthington’s Pioneer Village to check out their annual Fourth festivities. I wasn’t sure how much the kids would be into things – although Becca and I figured that, at the very least, Zachary would love all the old tractors – but we figured we’d check out for a half an hour or so at least.

About two hours later, we were headed home. The tractors were OK, but the big hits were the old-time device that grinds corn off cobs and then, next to it, the grinder of the kernels into flour (sorry, I can’t come up for the name for these at the moment!) and – I’d forgotten about this – the old caboose that train-adoring Z-Man ran up and down, as did Grace and another girl she ran into there. We ended up looking inside several of the buildings, had popcorn and lemonade inside the saloon building and watched most of the annual melodrama production until Zach started getting pretty fussy (it was well past both his lunchtime and naptime).

Later in the day, after an all-American dinner of hot dogs, hamburgers and cheesecake, we went outside to light up some fireworks. Zach was a little upset at first; the firework racecars we bought for him lit up and shot off sparks, and in retrospect I guess he thought he was going to be keeping them as a regular toy. A couple of the larger fireworks scared him a bit, too, but I was keeping him at a more-than-safe distance while Grace was scoping out the noise- and color-makers with Bec. Both the kids loved the little papers you throw on the ground to make a loud "snap" noise; the little guy would make this hilarious head-bobbing gesture if there wasn’t enough impact for a snap. Then, Grace, warily at first but quickly more confidently as time ticked past, held sparklers. It was great fun.

We didn’t go to the Worthington fireworks display, as both kids were totally wiped out and I don’t think either of them – particularly Zach – would’ve dealt with the loud noise particularly well – but we still had quite the America’s Birthday. The only thing I’ve realized is, I don’t think we told the kids about what the Fourth really means. I guess we’ll have to have an extra-special Independence Day in 2011.