If you know much about the Reinhart side of the family, you'll know that we take our Independence Day pretty seriously. I think I can honestly say that it's second in my list of favorite holidays displaced from first only by Christmas, the Mother of All Holidays (and filled with shiny glitter - notice the theme of Jamie loving holidays that involve metallic gleam). And as an honorary Reinhart, Steve's love for the Fourth started early in our dating relationship. I fondly remember him gazing in horror as we lit ladyfingers in our hands and threw them in the air for the better pop and the murmurs of incredulity as we broke open the duds to light the black powder directly. But he warmed up to the illegal incendiaries quickly and by his second or third Fourth was lighting the M-80's himself and climbing up my grandfather's tree to retrieve bits of exploded plastic buckets. He's a fast learner.
Our boys have definitely inherited our seldom-wise-but-really-fun fireworks genes. As usual, we walked our big red wagon over to the fireworks tent and bought up a small fortune in explosives, blessing Utah and the U.S.A. the whole time. I love living in a state where you can buy more than just stupid sparklers! My favorite purchase this year was a set of penguins whose various body parts would light up and cause the whole penguin to spin. How can your heart not be warmed by flaming, sparkling penguin eyes staring at you? (yes, they were as odd as they sound and well worth the $10)
And we are blessed with Utah friends who love fireworks almost as much as we do, because everybody knows that the Fourth is best spent with lots of friends so that there are a few to stay at the house with the kids while another contingent transports the injured person(s) to the hospital :) Just kidding, there we no injuries this year, not even little burns to remember the event by. And the lawn only caught on fire once!
This July Fourth was the Powells' first in Utah and they were a little slow to catch on to the fun of letting the kids light the fireworks, but by the end of the night Jack was lighting 'em like a pro and I'm pretty sure I saw Jim's eyes mist over more than once that evening, brimming with fatherly pride. The Thomas boys, of course, are old hands at all of this, as you can tell by the enthusiastic dancing amidst the smoke bombs.
Here's a truly fabulous photo that Jim snapped of Jedi Ben Shark Boots Boy. I think that he captured the essence of our child. How did kids ever have light saber battles before glow bracelets?