We went to the Target parking lot, as we have every year, even before that parking lot was for a Target to watch our town's fireworks, which are always on July 3. The parking lot was filled with everyone else who has been going to that spot, every year, even before that parking lot was for a Target. Others went to their traditional spots--other lots, other fields, other favorite locations.
I think tradition is the only thing keeping everyone sane in this town.
Anyway, the fireworks were horrendous--low to the ground and unable to be seen unless you were in the stadium where the fireworks originated or perhaps, in the high rise apartment with a balcony facing the stadium. Everyone sat in shock. Mike made us get up and swiftly walk to another location, just to catch a glimpse.
It was horrible. We couldn't really see a thing.
People began posting pictures of their children crying in a variety of neighbor groups. I received text messages about the horror. A friend told us about some private fireworks in the next town over and even gave us a yard to watch them in. We went, but I think we were too cranky to endure. We sat in the car alternating ignoring each other and sniping at one another. We were untethered and simply left to return to our home to argue and snipe some more, privately, as one should.
And I know you will think I am being ridiculous and dramatic. But, I've been through horrible, horrible, God-awful things. I have persepctive--and sometimes, the simple, seemingly unimportant things are the most important, most serious things of all.
And while I know bad fireworks are not a big deal in the scheme of things; this break in tradition---really it was like tradition just took a day off and did not show up--unraveled an entire community.
The things we look forward to are important; and while, yes, people in the stadium enjoyed a gorgeous show--everyone else in their traditional areas was uninvited from something they've been going to for years and years and years. And yes, we are all grown-ups and we will be fine. And yes, it is great they had fireworks (that no could see). And yes, we should be grateful for all the amazing things in our town (which we pay for with our taxes). And yes, we should not be negative and should smile and be happy.
But no, actually, fuck that, the world is a really freaking hard place. Since 2020, we've all been pivoting with tradition and finding new ways to do things and now we are trying, so hard, to return to some of what we knew before and it is really freaking important, because tradition reminds us that we are not permanently broken and that we can return home to the things we always do.
Author's Note: It is tradition in our family to argue upon leaving and arriving home. So, I guess we have that to hold us together.