The children are asleep in the house, oblivious to the thundering crashes in the sky.
The concrete step is hard under my sore feet; the tree in our yard obscures much of the view; and the neighbor’s air conditioner blocks out the sound of most of the music.
For hours, people have been parking their cars in the grass a little further up our street, setting up lawn chairs to get the best view of the show. We have been eating pizza in the cool of our air conditioned living room, watching a movie, listening to the boys’ excited accounts of the first night of vacation Bible school.
This is really just an afterthought.
He had looked out the back door when the first explosion rocked the sky and said we could see them out that way.
So here we are, standing on the back step, leaning against the glass sliding door, his arms around me, watching the blooms of fire. We talk some– stand silent some– shift positions often. Just the two of us, here, now.
This is the way it was, ten years ago before the stretch marks and the sippy cups and the arthritis, when we walked together hand-in-hand on a warm evening to see the sky-fire. We thought we were so wise, then, with our newly made vows and old beat-up car.
This is the way it will be, years from now, although I cannot see the future really. Someday it will be the two of us alone together again, nest-empty, debating whether staying up to watch the pyrotechnics is really worth it, and can we do it from our rocking chairs on the porch.
But this, now, the two of us, in this stolen quiet-loud moment, is sweeter for the noise and chaos of our normal every day. He holds me tighter, and I lean into him, as I shift my weight from one aching foot to the other.
The sparks die in the air, leaving their smoky skeletons behind in the still night sky.
I am so blessed.