When Lightning Bugs Look Like Fireworks


On the Fourth of July, Kristi and I went a couple blocks from our house to a huge hill where we could enjoy the view and the fireworks, not only from the town we live in, but from nearby towns as well. It was a hot night, but there was a wonderful breeze, and we could see a long way in all directions.

I wanted to see our three-year-old Caleb's reaction to the fireworks. He sat with us all of two minutes before he started tumbling down the hill and giggling.

"Caleb, come here."

He would reluctantly come back by us and sit for a spell.

"See the pretty colors over there?"

"OOOOOhhhhhhhh!" He replied, all the while looking in a different direction from where the fireworks were actually going off.

"Heeee heeeee!" He giggled as he tumbled down the steep hill again...

"Caleb, come here and watch with Daddy."

"OK, Dad."

Back up the hill he would come. I tried getting him to concentrate on the fireworks again. He watched for another twenty seconds before he started walking away from us. Suddenly he let out a squeal of delight. "Finally, he is enjoying the fireworks," I thought.

He yelled out, "Look at all the lightning bugs!"

I sighed and looked down the hill; indeed, there were literally hundreds of fireflies that were stealing Daddy's thunder.

I tried in vain one last time to get him to watch with me. "Caleb, tell me what colors you see."

"That's a green one, Daddy! And a red one!"

This lasted another minute or so before he reached in the stroller to tickle Connor, his eleven-month-old brother. Then he was off tumbling down the hill again, saying, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa," with each spin of his body. I started to call out to him again when Kristi leaned over to me and whispered, "Michael, just let him be a kid. There will be other years."

I had been getting so irritated that he wouldn't sit by us and take in the fireworks. I guess I had this preconceived notion that he would sit on my lap and just squeal with delight every time one exploded. Then he was going to ask me if they were magic, so that his proud Daddy could stick out his chest, and explain away. Luckily my understanding wife was there, and was able to gently nudge me back to reality.

There was nothing wrong with my expectations, but once again my impatience was getting in the way of enjoying time with my wife and sons. I should have picked up on the cues and tumbled down the hill with my boy. Fireworks have been around for hundreds of years, but my boy was only going to be three years old for another week.

I bet when a person tumbles down the hill, the lightning bugs look like fireworks going off. I guess I'll have to start a new tradition on the Fourth of July. Actually, from what my three-year-old tells me, the show goes on every night!

Michael T. Powers Thunder27@aol.com

Copyright 2000 by Michael T. Powers, All rights reserved

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Michael is happily married to his high school sweetheart Kristi, and has two young boys. He is an author, speaker, business owner, and founder of "Straight From the Heart," a free daily E-zine that features inspirational and uplifting stories by published writers. He has been published world-wide in many newspapers, magazines, and books, most notably, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Alice Gray's Stories From the Heart series, God Allows U-turns, and Heartwarmers.

The above story is from his new book, Straight From the Heart "A Celebration of Life", which is now available! To read some more stories from the book, or to purchase your own copy, visit: http://www.MichaelTPowers.com

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