I think a lot of parents spend the first year of their child’s life introducing them to things while simultaneously thinking, “I can’t wait until s/he is older and can REALLY enjoy this.” It’s not that they’re wishing their child’s life away, it’s just excitement to see their reactions to the things we love.

I LOVE fireworks. One of the many perks of my old job were the frequent Fireworks Nights. On our honeymoon, I was downright giddy by the fireworks display put on by Sydney, Australia. So obviously I love the Fourth of July. I couldn’t wait to introduce fireworks to Maddie, especially since Mike doesn’t find fireworks as exciting as I do.

Last year we spent the holiday weekend in Northern California. We gathered on the deck of Mike’s parents’ house to watch the local fireworks show, my then 3 1/2 year old nephew sooooo excited about the impending light show. I held Maddie, telling them both all about the magical colors we’d see. Maddie yawned. She maybe lasted for one minute of the show before she fell asleep in her daddy’s arms. I though, “oh well, next year she’ll LOVE the fireworks.”

This year I watched my hometown’s fireworks with my mom and cousin. We found a nice spot on the plateau of a hill and laid out blankets. I watched the families around us. I wondered what Maddie would think of the other little kids. I imagined her clapping with delight at the purple fireworks.

They were so pretty.




It’s so hard to experience life without her, wondering what she would have done. Longing for her.