Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July to all Aspierations Friends!

Good evening, Aspierations visitors!

Happy 4th of July!!  

No-one can ever say that people in Vancouver, Washington do not like their fireworks.  At least, not in Fisher's Landing!  My goodness!  The fireworks started around 8:00 in this neighborhood and are still going strong as I type this at 11:38 p.m.

I am not kidding or exaggerating when I say that neighborhoods in this area spend thousands of dollars on fireworks.  Patriotism...celebration of freedom... civil liberties.... a few block parties... and of course boys playing with their toys.  When it goes on for a few hours, it gets to a point where I wonder if a little posturing might be going on as well.  (Who has the biggest bottle rocket??  My collection of fireworks is better than yours, NANA NANA BOO BOO....)  -- If you don't get that latter joke, please read my last blog, Tales from Camp Kiddo and Camp Meriwether - Friday Recap.  It won't disappoint, I promise or your money back!

In all seriousness though, it is AMAZING to watch.  The fireworks are gorgeous!  It's much better than I ever saw at Great America, Moffett Field, dare I even say Disneyland!  People expressing their individuality and spirit... cool stuff.  To hear some of the fireworks... it's cool from a distance but not so much up close if you have sensory issues like many kids and adults on the autism spectrum.  Fortunately the fireworks don't bother Justin.

Admittedly, the noise up close bothers me some but I'm cool from a distance.  I'm not a party pooper about it but after awhile, it's a bit of an overload.  Ryan has not been impressed the past couple of years so I have been working with Ryan all week with a social story about fireworks trying to prepare him for a better experience.  Because fireworks have been going off legally here since July 1st, we had a number of days to practice.  Tonight we did a test run walking through the neighborhood, got about 5 minutes away, saw probably a couple dozen different fireworks stemming from multiple neighborhoods within that time and he declared, "I am done now."

Since the neighborhood mosquitoes latched onto me as their Fancy Feast and own personal "I SEE food cocktail" despite the fact I had a hooded sweatshirt on and long pants, I wasn't too disappointed to be the one to take Ryan back home.

I wasn't quite ready to end Ryan's evening since I knew the outside noise would resonate through our house for hours and to be honest, I wasn't in the mood for another Tom & Jerry cartoon marathon to block it out. I did know that Ryan enjoyed seeing the pretty fireworks displays, it was just the noise that bothered him. We went inside the house, I tried to investigate how the darn mosquitoes had infiltrated my clothing and determining that resistance was futile, I went up the stairs to get a set of headphones for Ryan.

I brought the headphones downstairs and told him they were special headphones that would protect his ears from anything too loud and that anytime he got scared, he had a special channel he could go to where he would hear Mommy singing special songs just for him.  I let him know he had total control of the volume and the songs and that he could always squeeze my hand if he got scared and I would be there for him.

This appeased him and we went back outside, me putting my hood up this time thinking at least those little bloodsucking vampire mosquitoes wouldn't get my neck and we went out to watch more fireworks.  About 15 minutes later we hooked up again with John and Justin and over an hour later after walking over a mile throughout the Fisher's Landing area to see all the different fireworks displays, we came home.

It's 11:58 and the boys are both now in bed sleeping.  Hooray!  In two minutes the fireworks are supposed to officially be done for the night.  I'm pretty close to done too...  :-)

I had a lot of thoughts on freedom, civil liberties, pursuing happiness, dreams and patriotism that I wanted to share but I'll save that for another blog!  I've been particularly pondering today freedom, the philosophy of freedom, liberty, civil liberties and the social and moral influences that impact us.  That stuff is a little too heavy for me to finish before midnight so I invite you to bookmark the Aspierations blog and come back in the future!

Again, Happy 4th of July!  :-)  (And of course, happy 5th of July or 6th of July or whatever day you're checking this out!)

Appreciative of the freedom to Come As You Are and Let Your Light Shine,

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