Yesterday was the Fourth of July, and if there’s one thing you can expect on the Fourth of July it’s people losing their minds over fireworks.


I always smile politely as these people rhapsodize about how beautiful and life changing fireworks are, but on the inside all I can think is… I don’t get it. What is so amazing about fireworks?

I saw on news yesterday morning that people were already lined up outside the Rose Bowl at dawn to get in to see the fireworks show starting at… 9:05 p.m. That is crazy, right? Getting up that early for twenty minutes of twinkly lights set to a Lee Greenwood song?

Sydney Children's Fireworks

I don’t mean to sound like a spoil sport. Honestly, I am happy people enjoy fireworks (so long as they’re not being a-holes and shooting them off after 10 p.m. or putting kids at risk). If I could I would just ignore them, but unfortunately I can’t because – dun dun dun – Heather is a fireworks lover.

Each Independence Day we go see the fireworks, and I’m always grumpy because I’m exhausted after a long day of swimming, eating, and being in the sun. I was extra grumpy last night because all I wanted to do was doze on the couch with a Tivo’d Dateline, so in the car on the way over I decided to get to bottom of this whole fireworks thing.

ME: “Help me out here. Explain to me why you like to watch fireworks so much.”

HEATHER: “Are you seriously asking me why I like to see fireworks on the Fourth of July?”

ME: “You realize it’s the same fireworks every year, right? It’s not like they’ve invented some amazing new type of firework that they’re going to debut tonight. It’s the same show you’ve been watching since you were three years old.”

HEATHER: “You should’ve napped.”

Later, the fireworks’ show started and it was indeed the same except for one thing… Annabel. She was having the time of her life, oohing and aahing, and it was impossible not to have fun watching her.

Halfway through the show she hopped up onto my lap and yelled, “Look, Dada! Look!” I feigned enthusiasm, whooping and hollering, and she leaned into me, giggling. That was pretty awesome, and I soon found myself thinking, “These fireworks are actually pretty spectacular.”

Don’t go getting the wrong idea though… you’re still not gonna see me outside the Rose Bowl at dawn next year.