Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sometimes Celebrations are Quiet

I wanted to write a short post that steps away from the funny for a moment.  While most wrote about the 4th of July, my story happened the day before.  My 4-year old daughter doesn't like fireworks.  Actually, it's not limited to fireworks.  She just doesn't like loud sounds in general (unless, of course, SHE is the one making the loud sound).  So twice a year things get interesting at our house.  We really can't go anywhere or do anything fireworks related as a family.

Another odd thing about the 4-year old is that she has NEVER been the hugging, kissing or otherwise affection showing type of child.  She has been that way since birth.  So we have just learned to live with it. As she's gotten older she has eased off of her no "hug and kiss" rule but just barely.  And really, I think the only reason she does it now is because the little one doesn't have a problem with it.  And if the little one has or does something, then the middle one MUST have or do as well! It's the sibling law.

I gave you that background information because it gives more meaning as to why July 3rd, 2010 was a special night.  My wife took the oldest and the youngest to a neighbors house a few subdivisions away for some pre-holiday fireworks.  And I decided to stay home with the middle child because she wasn't going outside AT ALL.  Not with all of that loud "noise".

The fireworks were in the distance so my daughter was just a little bit uncomfortable.  So we decided to play the Wii.  We jumped.  We ran.  We played.  Anything to keep her mind off of the fireworks.  When we had finished playing all of the games she wanted to play she said she wanted to watch a movie.  Monsters, Inc. was on so I let her watch that.  She also wanted to watch the movie in "Daddy and Mommy's Bed".  That is her place of safety and comfort when there is thunder and lightning outside so obviously it works for fireworks as well.  Apparently, the magic works whether the parents are in the bed or not... at least that's what she thought.

I decided to do some (very) minor cleaning in the living room since we had just destroyed it playing games.  And I couldn't have been cleaning for more than 3 minutes or so when it began.  The "close" neighbors started shooting fireworks.  Knowing what I know, I sat down on the couch to see what my daughter was going to do.  Within a few seconds of the REALLY loud pops, I see this little ball of hair poke up from behind the love seat.  It was moving very slow and unsure.  Then the next set of fireworks: BAM!!! BOOM!!! POW!!! That's when I hear very quietly...



"Daddy... I'm scary." (That means "I'm scared" for those who don't live in our home.)

"Do you want to finish watching the movie?"

"No, I want to sit with you."

With that statement, she quickly walked over to me, climbed on my lap and laid her head down on my chest. (Again, for those who don't live in our home... this NEVER happens.)  So I wrapped my arms around her to give her the protection that she can only get from her father.  And there we sat for almost an hour.  Few words were spoken.  In retrospect... What really needed to be said?

Most of the time I find the funny in life.  But there are moments where other emotions take over and demand that their power be respected.  And while the rest of the country was loudly celebrating our founding father's decision to become a free and independent nation, I was quietly celebrating my decision to become a father.