I was so indifferent about going out to watch the requisite fireworks for Fourth of July that I slipped on my uber-chill, uber-ratty pair of Adidas slides — the pair I reserve only for walking to and from the laundry room, inside our building — to trudge out to the end of our street where the little hill overlooking 395 is, apparently, a coveted viewing location around here.
As I tsked and tsked my way through the double- and triple-parked cars all the way to the hairpin curve of our tiny street, I explained to Mark that I’m “all or nothing, you know? Like, if I really wanted to watch fireworks, I would have gone INTO DC and been there right in the thick of it. It just doesn’t seem worth it to stand here, miles away, watching through shoulders and hats.”
But boy was I pleasantly surprised by this little microcosm of a celebration at the end of our street.
Surrounded by our fellow non-DC-venturers, we had a little taste of everything on the (non)chalance spectrum, all huddled together at the top of that hill. A couple of wiseguy commentators offering their unending opinions on this and that particular sparkler, an overly enthused grandma not wanting her grandkid to miss a single burst and unable to help herself from offering her own play-by-play, the tired-and-obligatorily-there mama, and the KIDDOS… Oohing and ahhing honestly, exclaiming a lil more loudly for the more impressive lights among them, but overall just pleased as punch to be there. One kid yelling, “NO!! SLEEP!! TILL BROOKLYNNN!!” after a particularly impressive combination of sparky displays, much to the chuckles of the adults around him.
Despite my previously tsky attitude, I found myself more and more on my tippy toes as the crowd swayed and moved to the beat of the lights. Enjoying the fireworks. Enjoying that hot, hot night air. Enjoying being in the middle of that medium-ish group of stranger-neighbors who had parked so deplorably all over our street. Had brought their unwanted opinions and unnecessary commentaries to the evening’s festivities. Had hoisted their kiddos on their tired shoulders so the little ones could ooh and ahh like none of us adults could muster up the energy to do. Causing a certain Adidas slides–clad adult from down the street to suddenly feel very old and very circle-of-lifey, all at once.