Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Foursh-a-Guh-Lie!

Thus it will ever be called and pronounced in our household, thanks to The Wild Man. Around two-years-old he came alive to the realization of Independence Day, The 4th of July. And we're corny enough to still use his tiny-boy description. Do you do that? Do you continue to call anything by the name your kiddos dubbed it when they couldn't quite pronounce things? Bo called french fries "ep-ripes." So, that was what we called them for awhile. TWM came along and they were "eye-yies" ("yies" rhymes with eye - just couldn't figure out how to spell it.) Consequently, we occasionally say we're goin' to In-N-Out for cheeseburgers and aye-yies, or ep-ripes. Maybe we can't let go of their babyhood. I'm okay with that.

The Foursh-a-Guh-Lie was TWM's day. He dreaded it like a root canal and looked forward to it like Christmas. When he was two and three and we went to big displays, he cried through the whole thing and clung to his dad like I cling to the memory of being a size 3 (I was once, for half-an-hour, and you'll never take it from me!). He screamed and ducked while we assured him he was perfectly safe. As soon as he got in the car, he asked when we got to go again. Ah, that's my boy. Much of his life has included the old love/hate relationship. He takes after his mother.

The next year when he was four, we took him to Buchanan high school where they were putting on their first fireworks display. We set the blankets out and tried to peel our son off long enough for him to enjoy the bang and pow of it all. He held us in death grips. Whoever ran the operation had not accounted for the burning cinders that fall from the sky and had set up the firing point far too close to the crowd. We were in the path of Pompeii. As curled up pieces of burning paper floated to the ground and the occasional chunk of cinder landed on the beach blanket, Grizzly and I shot each other looks knowing that if we ran, he would be forever scarred. So, we silently weighed physical scars against emotional ones, and stayed put. Bo got into the action and helped us stamp out the little coals as we all assured him it was perfectly wonderful and nothing could be more normal. I must say, we haven't been back to Buchanan since, though we're considering it tonight.

Girzzly was always into fireworks and TWM couldn't wait until the stands went up. He watched for them weeks in advance and marked their coming with the exultation of a Kodiak bear during a salmon run. Bo was pretty excited herself and was ready to fork out her little dough for the promise of sound and colors and fire. I was the dud and wondered why people would spend wads of money on things that would burn in a matter of minutes. It seemed nuts but my big kid influenced my little kids and I could either join in the fun or get over myself. I embraced the latter.

For years we met the neighbors out in the street and had a quasi-block party of it. Then the main neighbor stopped participating and things sort of fizzled. Also, our firecrackers from New Mexico were offered up to the fire gods (also known as the local police - however, they do much good so of course, we love them! Do you hear that, local police?!) one year. They had been sitting at the end of the block with their lights off and when they heard them, they pulled up and stuck out their hands. They then went home with them and maybe some of their famlies got to use them. I like to think so. At least they would be put to good use.

You have to be careful because nearly everything is illegal in California and the police are charged with making sure we all know it. If you live here, you try to accept being boiled alive slowly, like that proverbial frog, and protected from yourself endlessly. For years you couldn't even get those little, black things we called "worms" when I was a kid. You know the tiny discs you lit with a match and they grew and grew in crazy long shapes? Those were downright deadly, I guess. I think the movie "Tremors" was based on their wanton thirst for human flesh. What other reason could there be? (We got them back a few years ago.)

We continue to be thrilled and amazed we still get to light matches here. But we do. And that was another right-of-passage.

Grizzly was working out of town when one 4th came along and Bo was certain they could handle the fire part of the works. One neighbor joined in for a bit while Bo and TWM duked it out over who should serve as fire king or queen. They are so precious together. :) Soon, another neighbor showed up and his bossy kid outbossed my kids and we couldn't get our hands on our own fireworks. Where's a husband when you need one?

Then we started celebrating with friends at a party where we all chipped in for a fireworks display. Soon, that party got moved to the home of other friends (the husband being one of the police officers we know and love) and then we just watched fireworks from the distant country advantage of a very dark night sky and no personal displays. The fire danger is too high out there. But the fun and friend factor is also high with 50-70 of our closest friends so the kids have usually voted to say good-bye to the displays and hello to socializing. But we still bought a few things and lit them up when we got home.

I don't know this year, though. This was the first year TWM wasn't counting his change and took the erecting of the stands in his stride. No big deal. What? What does that mean? This is HIS DAY! Have we kept him from the thrill for too long? This makes me ambivalent about the party. One fire-fanatic is grown and the other is on his way and taller than I am. I may need to revisit Pompeii and remind them of the former days with a night-sky rush. This ISN'T just another day, after all. It's Independence Day. It's the Foursh-a-Guh-Lie!

I have a little pang. Is there any way we can do both? I'll let you know.


  1. lol... happy foursh-a-Guh-Lie to you too!! ;) my parents used to take all four of us little ones to a HUGE fireworks show when we were little... i LOVED it!! my twin of course was scared to death and wouldn't even use the port-a-pots cuz she was scared that someone was gonna tip it over and the big hole was gonna swallow her up lol... my younger brother was like TWM and our youngest sister was too young to have an opinion... im pretty sure she slept through it all anyways ;) lol

  2. Happy fourth of July Robynn! Lovely memories, I love your stories, and yes, I still call some of the things like my three year old girl did, those words never seem to get out of style here too!

  3. Haha. Frigging laws about fire works. Of course, we'd have to be plumb crazy to light them in our neighborhood, surrounded by dry wheatfields like we are.

    The Foursh-a-guh-lie thing cracks me up, I think it's normal to always say things the way your kids did.

    The garbage will ALWAYS be the Garjib for us.

    Dark will always be Doyk.

    Warm will always be Werm.

    I could go on.

    Happy Foursh to ya and yers!

  4. Happy Fourth to you, too! It's strange that here in the land of perpetual rain our city has banned use of all fireworks by its citizens. The city used to put on its own fireworks display, but this year they are not even doing that!

    Loved your memories.

  5. Of course you can do both!! 3 pm party - dusk fireworks up close and very personal. We would miss you awful! Elijah, at almost 9, still says gatitos for taquitos! And we love it. I correct him once in awhile just because out there in that big ole world kids would probably not find it as cute as I do! We don't use Andrew's toddler term for quesidilla often though; "I want my diarrhea"! That one I corrected promptly. :-)

  6. Hopping over from the blog hop to say hello. Hope you have a fun and safe Independents Day :)

  7. I came back from a walk a bit ago and across the street in front of Riverside Park were 20-30 cops all waiting the order to disperse into the park to arrest/confiscate illegal fireworks .. NY State law..... have a safe and happy 4th!

  8. Happy Day Robynn - wishing you fire works and burned hot dogs. All the good stuff and more;-)

  9. Happy 4th to you! What a funny story!

  10. so much rain and cold weather here in the northeast that we opted to stay home both last night and tonite,... maybe next year?

  11. Welcome Home, dear friend ... I've missed you and thanks for stopping by my 'place.' I WAS over at Bz' place last week, so she could do doctors appointments ... so far, so good!! She is amazing to me ... her attitude, her strength and I absolutely love to watch her interact with Little Someone ... have no idea where all the wisdom and calmness came from, she doesn't raise you voice, she is such a good momma, keep her in your prayers, please. Anywho ... I love 'visiting' with you again ... I've missed you.

  12. Happy 4th! Our family only ever bought sparklers. We had to rely on others to bring the fun. ;)

  13. Enjoyed your post today. Our son said lots of things different because he could not say his "L's". A couple of examples, Fruit Oops for Fruit Loops, Baoon For balloon. Wowee for Lolly(my parents dog), Aween for Allene(a family friend) and her husband was Fink for Frank (don't know how he got that). Thanks for bringing back the memories.

  14. hehehehehhe!!!!

    our words are:

    hangaboogers (hamburgers)
    peekee pie (pumpkin pie)
    rice kripsies (rice krispies)
    hellakeencopter (helicopter)

    and from a dislike of "bluckly" (broccoli)came the phrase "num bluckly bluckly lah" which, to this day, describes anything nasty (foods, feelings, etc.)

    Kaylee bean :-p

  15. Ah, my friend, I'm just trying to catch up... and this had me laughing my stretchy pants off!
    I had been running around with an idea of a "funny kid words" blog post while thinking of my kids, and now I almost feel guilty writing it after this.
    But not guilty enough to not do it...

    big Mwahs!

  16. Too funny...we used to have many words as well the only one that comes to mind right now is "basgetti", which of course is spaghetti...

    Happy 4th

  17. My kids are still terrified of fireworks and make sure they are asleep before they shoot off at midnight when it's New Year's Eve...

    Now give me a good laser show instead! :-)

  18. Yes I do that thing too of using the words my kids use because it mixes in life well and is very funny!

    And my son too has a love hate relationship with fireworks and did/does the death grip thing for two years! The baby girl however has been fearless since birth!

    Pompeii! lol - I think that's my version of thunderstorms. I want to run but then I brave it out for the kids because I'm the one telling them that it's alright and what God is doing etc etc...and well I want to have my bed to myself!

    I would love to participate in fireworks with my own hands sometime. New experiences are good. Sounds like you had a fun time!

  19. Oh here I go again, laughing uncontrollably. Pompeii??!!! Oh, the visual of that will keep me going for hours (having experienced something similar myself!). Oh, and we still call chicken "kick-ann" in our household! :-)

  20. what a beautiful pic of the fireworks!

    P.S. I'm blog hopping via the McLinky....bunny hop over to enter 4 great giveaways: Hippo books, CoverBee Laptop sleeve, Chex Mix bars, Piggy Paint- 10 winners in all!!)

  21. Hahaha - you crack me up! Yeah, Randy is forever wanting to go to a big show.... our solution is to do the gathering on the 3rd next year and then we can all go to fireworks shows on the 4th? Whaddya think? Oh, and as I remember it, a couple of grown-ups who shall remain publicly nameless were inside my kitchen looking out the window because THEY didn't like the noise when we lit off our fireworks.... Love you!