Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Glow-Stick Envy

I don’t care one way or the other that New York didn’t get the ’12 Olympics, but my reaction to London besting Paris: heh-heh-heh. Just a touch of Francophobia echoing down the centuries for me, a member of the Anglo-diaspora, but actually I enjoyed both cities, and believe both are great cities of the Earth. I just enjoyed London more.

I wrote a lot last year about July fireworks (see July 7, 8 & 9, 2004), so I won’t bother with it so much this year. Last year we went to Wheeling, Illinois, to see its municipal fireworks. This year we went back. It was a fine display last year. This year’s was too.

The main difference this year was rain. It rained most of the day on July 4, from mid-morning to late in the afternoon. In fact, it was still raining at 6 p.m., and we concluded that there would be no fireworks show for us this year, at least on the Fourth. But at 8 p.m., I looked outside and noticed that the rain clouds had vanished. In an instant we decided to go.

In a way, it worked out better. Instead of leaving at about 6, eating a Taste of Wheeling’s overpriced food and then waiting around for the sun to go down, we ate at home and arrived just before dusk. Some waiting around was involved, but not too much. We brought foldable camping chairs, and that helped make the wait easier, especially considering the wet grass.

Last year, I wrote this: “Lilly was a little miffed that I wouldn’t buy her a glow stick, and asked every few minutes when the show was going to begin.” Guess what happened again. I should have re-read my posting before going again this year, and saved myself aggravation by buying her a glow stick (loop, really) before reflexively declining to do so. Once I’d committed to not buying one, I didn’t want to back down. The glow-stick situation was made even worse by a couple of girls nearby, who had glowing necks, wrists and ankles, and who were running around making all kinds of light trails. This inspired some glow-stick envy in my eldest daughter.

But in end, she got her glow stick. As we were walking back across the park after the fireworks, Ann picked up a blue-glowing loop. Ann was holding Yuriko’s hand most of the time, Lilly and I were in front, and no one noticed her pick it up. She just had it suddenly, to our mystification. But that doesn’t mean that she shared it with Lilly. Just the opposite. A fierce sense of ownership set in very quickly, but I told Lilly not to worry -- Ann will fall asleep en route home, and you can have it then. Both of them fell asleep, but Lilly woke up when we got back, and removed the ring from around Ann’s neck, and squirreled it away somewhere. Ann, still of memory short, didn’t complain about it the next morning.

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