No blog post in over a month! Must try harder.
Bonfire night means that fireworks are out in full force. I'm a big fan of them: I wanted them at my 40th birthday party that never was. Perhaps I'll get them for my 50th. They are stunning, frivolous and fully deserving of the oohs and aahs they provoke. Dark history aside they are reminders of childhood and symbols of celebration.
So I found it quite distressing when child after child of mine didn't like them. Successively they screamed and shouted and crumbled in fear. We kept trying. Each year we have attended a number of displays, and taken it in turns to leap for safety. Hearth-father spent last year's display cuddling tear-streaked cowerers in the cricket changing room at the local sports ground. (My turn to enjoy the rockets and Catherine wheels and bangers.)
Ear defenders, bribery and bullying have all failed in the past, but we persevere nevertheless.
And this year we accidentally hit on the magic formula to make it all work.
We separated them.
Gertie was with a school friend, and accidentally Hearth-father and I got split up in the crowd so that we had one each. They were transfixed!
Fear is contagious, so this separation, coupled with the peer group pressure that Gertie must have experienced, finally made for a tear-free Guy Fawkes' night. Hooray!
Smiles all round. Or perhaps they just grew up while we weren't looking.
Currently reading: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton