Once again the 4th of July has come and gone. It’s a great time to gather with friends and family to celebrate America’s birthday. Barbecues and pool parties occur across the country and millions of people go out to see fireworks. I love all of that stuff. Grilling, cooling off in a pool, and going out to see some big fireworks displays are all fun and I’ve enjoyed them many times. However, what I don’t enjoy, support, or approve of are fireworks displays in residential neighborhoods.

That’s right, I may be in my mid-30s, but I have become that angry old man who stands on his porch and shakes his fist at the teenage kids that speed down his street. My reasoning is very simple. I have two young children. Noah is four and Charlotte is two, and they are typically asleep before 9 p.m.

People who set off fireworks in their yard clearly have no respect for their neighbors, or at least their young children. Kids who are older might like to watch fireworks, but they are too loud and occur too late for young children. Most of the ones that are used in neighborhoods look terrible anyway. You hear a really loud pop or bang and there’s barely anything to see (that’s not always the case, but it is a lot of the time). Can’t they find a more deserted place to shoot off their stupid fireworks, like a beach or a field in the middle of nowhere?

The night of the 4th my 2 year-old woke up screaming at 10:30 p.m. because some idiot down the street repeatedly set off fireworks. We had the windows closed, the air on, and fans going to try to drown out the noise, but it still wasn’t enough.

It’s not just kids, too. There are plenty of adults trying to sleep at night who are rudely awakened. Not to mention I’m sure there are some veterans out there who don’t appreciate the sounds that remind them of explosions they’ve experienced in war. Am I reaching with this one? Maybe.

While my biggest problem with neighborhood fireworks is the fact that they wake up my kids, there are other issues as well. First off, they’re illegal where I live. That doesn’t seem to deter many people from using them considering the amount of fireworks I’ve heard recently. They’re also very dangerous. People get seriously injured using them all the time. A player in the NFL blew off one of his fingers using fireworks. I’m sure plenty of stories will come out about injuries and deaths across the country thanks to fireworks used in the last few days.

I could tolerate residential fireworks more if they only happened on the 4th. However, they’ve been going in my area for nearly a week. If I wanted to hear explosions every night I would move to Syria. I just wish people could brave the traffic and go to the public fireworks displays away from the neighborhoods. They’re going to be a whole lot safer and more impressive than anything you see at your drunk neighbor’s house anyway.

Ok, sorry, my rant is over.

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Aside from the fireworks, we had a great Independence Day. We spent most of our day at Ashley’s aunt and uncle’s house. We were in their nice in-ground pool for a few hours. Noah was initially very cautious. But over time he went from cautiously floating around in the pool to jumping into my arms in the water about 30 times. We also realized that he is now tall enough to walk around in the shallowest part of the pool with his head fully above water. He had such a great time; he never wanted to get out. Charlotte also had fun. She mostly liked sitting in one of the pool floats and splashing in the water.

We also enjoyed a nice barbecue with the family and played some outdoor games. The weather was perfect and the pool felt like a giant bath tub. The day could have been perfect if it weren’t for the fireworks exploding throughout our neighborhood later that night.

 

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