For several days before the Fourth of July holiday, Aaron had asked if we could go to see some fireworks. Gary and I decided to drive over to our little town of Goddard to watch the fireworks show there, and so I told Aaron this news on the morning of the fourth. He was matter-of-fact about it, not showing great excitement but still indicating that he was happy about going to see the fireworks.
We had a laid-back kind of day, not hurrying or rushing about anything. Aaron asked a few times during the day if we could take our Great Dane, Jackson, for a walk around our neighborhood circle……..but I told him no because the temperature was in the mid-90’s, and big old black Jackson doesn’t handle the heat very well. We had a late supper, and afterwards Aaron again asked if we could walk Jackson. This time I said I wasn’t sure because I really wanted to clean the kitchen before we went to see the fireworks.
“What time are the fireworks?” Aaron asked as he looked at the clock. He was hoping that we would have time for that walk. I told him that the fireworks didn’t start at a set time, but that the paper said they would start at dusk. And thus began the questions from Aaron……questions about dusk………that nebulous time of evening that has no set time. If you know much at all about Aaron, you know that he loves exact, set times. For instance, that very morning he slept late and when he finally lumbered downstairs, the first thing he said was, “Mom! I slept til 9:23!”
So Aaron wanted dusk to have a time. He wanted me to tell him something like, “Well, Aaron, dusk begins at 9:16.” When Gary and I finished cleaning the kitchen, I went up to tell Aaron to get ready to leave for the fireworks. He replied, “So can we take Jackson for a walk before we go?” I told him no, that we didn’t have time, and he once again asked, “So what time do the fireworks start?” I reminded him that they started at dusk and he asked again, “When does dusk start?”
Aaron, dusk starts……….well, dusk is when it’s just starting to get dark. And again he asked, “So what time is that?” As I walked down the hall, I turned and over my shoulder told him that I wasn’t sure but that it was pretty soon and so get ready! And we were only beginning. I will put Aaron’s comments in italics for the rest of this blog.
We piled our chairs into the van, grabbed water bottles…….and Aaron brought his two jars of peanuts…..and off we went. We had barely started driving when we heard Aaron.
Is it dusk yet? No, Aaron, it’s not dusk yet.
When will it be dusk? In a little while, Aaron. We drove on, talking about this and that while Aaron made sure that his CD was loud enough for him to hear. Then we heard……..So when is dusk? It won’t be long, Aaron.
We found the perfect spot to set up our chairs, and we settled in with our water……..and Aaron with his peanuts………..and he turned to us with, So is this dusk? No, Aaron, it’s not dusk yet.
Then how long until it’s dusk? Not long, Aaron. Just enjoy the people’s fireworks that we can see around us.
So they’re doing fireworks. Does that mean it’s dusk?
No, they’re just doing fireworks in their yards.
A short time went by while Aaron drank some water and crunched peanuts. But to Aaron, the time seemed to be going very slowly. When is it dusk?
Soon, Aaron, soon. Look at those cool fireworks that those people are setting off over there!
Will dusk be soon?
Look at those fireworks! And then Aaron wanted to know if the neighbor’s fireworks were THEM…….the fireworks that we had come to see………at dusk.
Are those them? Nope, those are just some fireworks that people are doing in their yards.
So it’s dusk? Not yet.
Then why are they setting off fireworks if it’s not dusk?
Because they don’t need to wait until dusk.
Dusk is soon, right?
Trust me Aaron……….it can’t come soon enough.
Are those them?! No, not yet.
But isn’t it dusk?
Well……yes…..it’s kinda dusk, I guess.
I thought you said the fireworks started at dusk!
Aaron, they didn’t give a TIME……..a PRECISE TIME!!!!
There was quietness for awhile……….a little talk about the small dog that was on a leash…….about the little children that toddled past…………Is it dusk?
Gary and I were exchanging glances, halfway amused and halfway frustrated…………wondering how much longer Aaron could wait for dusk. Even though it was actually becoming quite dark, we would NOT tell him that dusk had passed. Not in a million years!!
When is dusk? Oh, how I wished I hadn’t even mentioned the word DUSK!!!!
I don’t think they’re going to start at dusk.
Just enjoy the music, Aaron. Just enjoy the people, Aaron. Just enjoy your peanuts, Aaron. Just enjoy your water, Aaron. Just enjoy something OTHER THAN DUSK!!!!!!!
Finally, finally, FINALLY, the national anthem played and then the beautiful fireworks started. Aaron enjoyed them but he wasn’t as exuberant as I hoped he would be after the long wait. I think this waiting for dusk business had taken a toll………had superseded the fun.
When the fireworks were over, Aaron hopped out of his chair, grabbed his water bottles and peanuts, and walked quickly to the van. He came……he waited……he saw……he left.
At least on the way home there was NO mention of dusk!
Mom, can we take Jackson on a walk tomorrow?
I almost told him that maybe we would walk tomorrow…….at dusk. But I didn’t dare!