Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Like A Rocket

My husband and I bought our house about eight years ago. We had only been married a year at the time and were still very young. We were very fortunate to buy when we did. We could barely afford to buy our house for what it's worth today.

I really like our house, too. It's small, but it's big enough that the idea of raising three children here doesn't make me want to eat cat hair and throw sandbox toys at the neighbors. I like that the neighborhood is older, low-key and that no one cares much how long it's been since you've mowed your lawn, much less watered it. I like that there is no "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality, unless you count those who strive for the loudest motorcycle. Our neighborhood might not be anything to look at, but it's safe, it's quiet, and you can sit down and take your shoes off. I feel at home here.

Except for two months in the summer. Two months that make me want to lick the hair off my cat and throw plastic pails and shovels at my neighbors. For two months in the summer every Tim, Dick, and Joe in our neighborhood decides to stockpile fireworks in their garage like the feds are revoking their constitutional rights to raise a ruckus. They seem to squirrel them away in the dark winter months (or make their own, industrious chaps that they are) only to have a two month long Yankee Doodle Militia party from mid-June through the Blessed Fourth of July until sometime in mid-August.

In the beginning, it's only mildly irritating (or it used to be, before I could enjoy the pleasure of anticipating what was ahead in future weeks). A small boom here, a mild bang there. No big deal. But then the local guys start getting excited--they try to hold back knowing they should wait for the Fourth, but as the Big Day draws nearer and as they dip deeper into their explosive stash they just can't wait any longer.

By the time the Fourth of July passes, I'm a walking symphony of ticks and twitches, white knuckling my way through the evening news at night wondering which firecracker is going to be the One to Wake The Baby. My Lord, the Fourth of July hasn't been the same since The Baby came.

The worst are the post-Fourth firecrackers that the men seem to find stashed away in the dark corners of their garages or basements. These take me utterly by surprise and like someone suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress disorder. My reaction to these sporadic, unexpected explosions sends me straight to the ceiling where I cling, nails dug deep into the sheet-rock.

Maybe someday I'll be able to hear the jovial festivities of our local patriots with equanimity, long after my babies have grown and I don't have to nurse anyone back to sleep. I hear they're developing new medications every day. But I doubt they'll find one to help me.

1 comment:

Zoe O Green said...

Unfortunately, it's not just your neighborhood. Because you live in "the suburbs" but I live in "The Inner City!" and it's the same here. Except that I have bizarre neighbors who will feel motivated, at, say, eleven at night, to wander onto their balcony and throw a single firecracker into the air. And yes, it makes me jumpy. When it's really bad, I put earplugs in, but then, I have that luxury.

Do you REALLY want to lick the hair off a cat??? NOTHING could push me to that point.

Although I've considered buying some fireworks myself and setting them off at prime times, like six a.m.