At our first fireworks event as a family, I enjoyed the show on the ground even more than the dazzling light display in the sky.
This was the first year we brought the kids to an Independence Day celebration. We had been tentative to expose them to fireworks for fear of a meltdown, especially because our son has been so sensitive to loud noises in the past, particularly in large crowds.
Having recently moved to a new town, and being in a much smaller setting than the urban one we had come from, we decided to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend with our new neighbors and friends.
With Jackson on my husband’s lap, and Lauren on mine, we waited in anticipation as the sky grew dark and the fireworks were about to begin. The kids eyes were glued to the sky and mine were on their faces to see their first reactions.
As the first firework went off, Lauren leaned in very close as I held her tight, and I could feel her heart pounding as the lights exploded in the evening sky. The display dazzled her, and soon she was giggling and pointing up at each one of the sparkling colors. I could hear Jackson talking excitedly beside me, and Lauren began to clap with joy at the end of each round. Pretty soon, Jackson began to expect when each firework would go off, shouting “boom!” each time. Oohs and aahs from the crowd echoed around us, as I watched the lights dance in the reflection of my little girl’s eyes wide with wonder.
As the festivities continued, I sat with my husband, son and daughter on the grass, wanting to remember this first experience for us as a family.
Firework moments are like that. They are moments that should be celebrated, written about and shared. They are the snapshots that a person remembers when they look back on their life, the stories they will tell to their grandchildren.
I realize that most of life is not experienced in firework moments. In fact, I’ve heard others chide those still in the thrill of those amazing experiences, saying that real life isn’t like that and those mountaintop events shouldn’t be a focus, because life is lived in the everyday details, not the pinnacle moments.
I understand the sentiment of those types of arguments because true, lasting joy must be lived in the routine of life. However, firework moments catapult our hearts to long for something more. They open our minds to the mysteries of God’s love, and what will be in store for us someday.
Why did Mary watch on as the shepherds came to worship her precious newborn and wise men bowed before him with gifts? Scripture says she “pondered these things in her heart.” These moments were imprinted on her soul, changing and shaping her throughout her life. As she watched her son nailed to a cross, don’t you believe it was these memories and their promise that held her together when her child was being torn apart?
Firework moments should not be dismissed. They should be pondered and treasured.
Think back over your life. What are the moments, whether big or small, that you hold with you and treasure again and again in your heart?
I know for me, our night of fireworks will be one of them.