Well, it was a monumental occasion as our 3-year-old got her first-ever taste of fireworks last Wednesday night in Marshalltown.
We figured it was about time she finally saw them as she nears 4 years old. Yes, it did take a whole operation of putting her down to bed for an hour, then waking her up when it was time to go, but it was worth it.
It must have been a while since we had her out that late as she mentioned looking around at all the cars with their lights on, something she hasn't seen in quite some time.
We pulled into the high school parking lot and put down our chairs. As soon as the booms started going off, she didn't last too long in her little plastic chair. She moved to daddy's lap as we watched the sky light up, and plenty of memories were made. I made sure I brought the camera and had it focused on her the whole time.
As she sat there in her pajamas, she would say priceless things like: "Look at that one daddy!" "That one is purple like me and mama's favorite color," and "Look at that smiley face!"
All of these were said in that hazy, sleepy kind of talk that you tend to get from 3-year-old when it's 9:45 at night.
As a side note, that smiley face firework this year was a nice touch - it came out sideways but I'm sure that's hard to get just right as it flies through the air.
There was also a nice couple in the bed of a pickup truck parked next to us that took our picture together and were enjoying our little one's reaction to her first fireworks show.
As she gets older, there aren't as many "firsts," so I wanted to cherish this one. There are so many "firsts" in the first couple of years like first words, first time eating on her own, first potty time etc. Call me sentimental, but it was one of those times when you close your eyes and smile.
Attending the fireworks show is almost like a duty for people in this country - no matter if it's your first show or your 51st. I realized that as we pulled out of the driveway and several of my neighbors also had their chairs loaded up and were headed out.
It's a way to celebrate patriotism and see some pretty cool explosions at the same time.
I guess it's Americana at its best. And now another member of our family knows what that means.
Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org