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Monday, July 6, 2009

Finally! A little shock and awe!

Ever since our adopted sons have been home with us, I have looked forward to their "first" experiences in America. In the beginning, it was the little things, like drinking fountains (they try to suck the water right out of the nozzle no matter how many times I demonstrate the correct technique!), and escalators, and elevators ... oh and I almost forgot, the adventures in public bathrooms. Jay says he could write a whole blog about the many, new and varied adventures in public restrooms!

Have you ever noticed how many different ways there are to flush a toilet? In one restroom, you push a button, in the next you pull a lever, and in the next one there is a motion sensor that flushes when you move ... even when your bottom is still on the toilet. Oh what a fun surprise that one is!

Then there are the adventures in hand-washing ... and even better, the adventures of hand-drying. There are innumerable hand-drying devices, and each of them needs to be fully experienced.

In one restroom, Jayden (8) was in the stall, and Jay was waiting near the sinks. A man walked up to the urinal right next to Jayden's stall. Jayden noticed the new pair of feet near his stall, and Jay watched a little finger snake out and touch the man's foot. The man looked at Jay, and with a chuckle he said "your kid just touched my foot".

I completely got sidetracked with the bathroom stories ... so back to the topic of "firsts".

Later, I was looking forward to some of the more momentous experiences ... like the first visit to the zoo, or the first glimpse of an ocean. But I was to be disappointed .. because the boys took each of these new experiences in stride. "THIS is the ocean!" I would explain, "It's soooo big you can't even see the other side!" And Jayden would look at me with raised eyebrows and shrug his shoulders as if to say "hmmmmmm, that's nice Mom."

I was looking forward to the 4th of July holiday, holding out just a little bit of hope that something would impress the boys and we would experience a moment of awe, or even a little shock. For the holiday, we always go back to our hometown of Clear Lake to spend the weekend with family ... boating, swimming, fishing and tubing with the cousins. The parade. Grilling hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch. Sitting by the lake and catching up on "life". And of course the 4th of July fireworks over Clear Lake.

They boys LOVED the boat - they thought it was pretty cool that daddy let them drive. Tubing was a new adventure too, and Jayden caught on very quickly to the hand gestures (thumbs up for "go faster", thumbs down for "go slower"). Jayden used the "thumb's up" gesture the entire time.

So as evening approached, we donned sweatshirts and jeans to ward off any possible mosquitos and the chilly evening air, and we made sure all the lights were working on the boat. By this time there are HUNDREDS of boats on the lake, with their green, red and white lights visible. We eased our way toward city park and anchored the boat near one of the 3 barges that would be shooting off the fireworks. And then we waited for the show to begin ....

As it approached 10:00 pm, Jayden kept looking at me and asking when they would start. I kept pointing to the little fireworks that people were shooting off along the shore and explaining to him that those were "little fireworks", and that soon we would see "BIG FIREWORKS".

Finally, the first shot was fired and the boys' eyes turned expectantly to watch the lone spark arc into the sky. It reached the pinnacle of its flight and EXPLODED with a thunderous "BOOM" that reverberated in our chest cavities. Their mouths dropped open!

That lone "boomer" was the signal for the entire show to begin and the night sky filled with explosions of color and sound for the next 30 minutes. The fireworks were right over our heads and the trailing sparks seemed to rain down around us. The explosions were so loud, they would thunder above us and we could feel the repercussion through our chest cavities, and then they would thunder an echo around the lake.

We all watched Jayden's and Wesley's faces to see their reaction. Jayden's mouth hung open in shock and wonder for a full minute or two, before he noticed us watching him and then acknowledged us with a huge grin. Wesley (3), flinched at the first "BOOM" and then sat motionless for several minutes with his eyes glued to the sky and a very serious expression on his face. After a few minutes, I asked him if he liked the fireworks. He responded by burying his face in my shoulder and crying "Noooooooo!" But after a few moments, he was peeking at them again, and a little while later, he was cheering with the rest of the crowd.

Seeing the expressions on their faces, and getting to watch their wonder and awe as they experienced their first fireworks, was priceless.


Karla said...

Loved it!

Erica said...

This post had me chuckling out loud. Thank you so much for sharing!

Erica R.

Kari said...

Love your post!!! Love the new pics!! WOW!!!
Come on over & get your raffle ticket for Mr. Ipod Touch:)))
I'm dying for a AW family to win it!!!