This was the first year all the kids went to see the fireworks. Hayley went once when she was younger and, if I remember correctly, we brought Baby Ace along too but he would not remember that year. The past few years we have been content to watch on the TV but this year we were just crazy enough to load up the van and take all 4 kids to the beach to watch the fireworks over the bay. I am so thankful we did! We had cousin Naomi along too which was sweet icing on the cake. The kids ran and played (and peed) in the sand while we watched some smaller fireworks come from the boats. Just when everyone started to get a little restless and Lucy started chanting "Home? Home? Home?", the show began. Some kids might have sat in silent wonderment and watched the magic but these are my kids we are talking about. There was a running commentary through the entire show. Ace was curious about what happened to the fireworks in the sky, where they went after we saw them, what role firefighters might play in setting off fireworks. Naomi talked about, well, everything. Including how a good firefighting name for Ace would be Fred. Lucy ran from my lap, to Grandma's, to Andy's and back again, kissed me full on the lips over and over again, repeated important words from the day "Home, pocket, potty, pretties" and occasionally glanced at the fireworks. She also clapped, she was big on clapping. One of the funniest moments was when she sat on my lap and I sang along with the music "God bless America, my home sweet home" and her eyes got very wide and she started yelling "Home? Home! Home?"
It was such a memorable night, and the perfect end to a great holiday weekend. Yesterday we marched in our town's parade. Julia was a rock star riding her bike for the first year, Ace rode his motorcycle bike, Naomi rode the scooter (but mostly walked and collected candy) and Hayley walked. We played games afterwards and then rewarded ourselves with a treat and root beer at the candy store. The day before we had a long, relaxing day at the beach and dinner at our favorite pizza place.
The weekend has been amazing but somewhat bittersweet since we will probably be moving next year around this time. That means this could be our last Fourth of July here. It breaks my heart because I love our town and this season reminds me why. I love our friends here, I love being so close to my parents for a good part of the year, I love all this town has to offer. But I know that this is what being a military family is about. We set down roots, find people and places that we love where we live and then, before we are ever ready, we have to say goodbye to them. The sweet part of that is knowing that there are new people to meet and new favorite places to discover in our new home and we can always cherish friendships and memories from our old home. But I understand Lucy's longing for "Home! Home! Home!", because I agree, adventures are fun but nothing beats the comfort of home.