My Firework Drought is Over!

The 5th of November, Guy Fawkes Night, used to be my favorite night of the year. Well, I guess it still might be but I haven’t been in eight years. The firework drought is finally over though. I found away to make summer fireworks doable…

My oldest son was born 7 weeks early not long before November 5th. That year I watched the fireworks from the NICU (SCBU) hospital window with a heavy heart. The year after we were home and struggling with sleeplessness, subsequent toddler years weren’t much better! One year we were in Italy. In more recent years we’ve been in the US where, another premmie later, fireworks are a late night summer event that really doesn’t suit my little early birds. I just didn’t seem to be able to catch a firework break. Until now!

What was the magic solution? Get a babysitter?! Why didn’t I think of this before?! So simple.

This weekend was our wedding anniversary and I was thinking about booking a sitter and organizing a meal out when the penny finally dropped. This weekend was also the Lisle Eyes to the Skies Festival which has a balloon glow at 20.15 and 4th style fireworks 21.45 as well as music, food and other fun. This would actually be a great date night and an easy way to tick something off my own list of goals for the year.

I’ve been very lucky to find a great sitter who the children adore. It took me a long time to decide the littlest was old enough for a sitter and to find someone I could trust – to me the childcare system feels a lot less regulated than the UK’s. But, having quizzed friends, asked at children’s activity suppliers and got to know the neighbors, I’m very glad to have made the leap. It was clearly me that had the issue not the children.

So were the fireworks worth the eight year wait?

Yes! They weren’t the biggest or most impressive fireworks I’ve ever seen but they were good. The festival had a great atmosphere; live music, a breeze in the warm summer air and sipping something sweet even if not from a mason jar made for a great background to pretty pyrotechnics. Who doesn’t love sparkly lights?

I’ve always thought of fireworks events as family events. A special part of childhood that when it didn’t work for our family I wrote off. But I was of course wrong. The children still have plenty of years to enjoy them, there’s no rush, and in the mean time I don’t have to miss out.

If you can work out a way to carve yourself a little space, a slot of time, a chance to try something new or revisit an old joy then do it!

We are often told self care is an important thing for parents, that a little bit of me time is good for us and our families overall. It’s just that achieving it can be very difficult. Time, money and support are often in short supply. But if you can work out a way to carve yourself a little space, a slot of time, a chance to try something new or revisit an old joy then do it! Everything will still be there when you get back, it’s just that you’ll feel a little bit more like you when returning to it.

There’s also a wonderfully smug feeling to be gained from relaxing during an event while others try to supply snacks, wipe noses and prevent the brawls I’d normally have to be responsible for! Hhmmm, I wonder what other events I can leave the kid at home for?

If you’re off to the fireworks tonight, with or without children, enjoy. And Happy 4th July!

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