As we walk down a long sidewalk making our way to a grassy clearing, Riley asks, "What does independence mean?"
I answer, "It means you can do things for yourself. That you don't need help."
She tilts her head to the side, considering this.
"Well, I can wipe myself. So that's independence!" She grins. Her arms do their characteristic tic because she's excited at learning a new concept. Her tic means she's fully engaged, happy. A way for her body to discharge positive stimulation.
"And I can wipe myself too....sometimes." Seth adds.
"So we're independent!" They beam.
We spread our blanket and wait for it to get dark, as the masses gather.
Our kids have never seen fireworks before.
We wouldn't have dared.
We insert Riley's earplugs.
When the show starts she squeals and whoops and claps!
Seth says, "Wow! Wow! Wow!"
Todd and I sit, our little ones on our laps.
We exchange glances but no words are needed as we bask in the glow of these rockets.