HAPPY JULY 4th, everyone!

(And for those of you who live in other countries, happy fourth day of July…just because!)

Curious: How do you guys feel about fireworks? What's your favorite fireworks memory?

Here's mine: 1976, Connecticut. It's the Bicentennial of America, and — especially in New England — people are going ALL OUT in celebration. I am seven years old. My mom and my uncle have taken us to the top of a hill somewhere to watch fireworks. I am totally dressed like a colonial child, complete with bonnet. (Thanks for sewing that costume, Mom — and for letting me wear it EVERY SINGLE DAY that summer, though I'm still sad you wouldn't let me wear it to school come September.)

Anyhow, I have never seen fireworks before. It's both impressive and a little bit frightening. Then a giant spewing ball of light goes up in the air and sends out a thousand other little tiny spewing droplets of light, and I say: "Wow! It looks like sperm!"

(I had learned some stuff in school, people, on the playground. It was the 70's. Kids were talking.)

To her everlasting credit, my mom laughed. To my uncle's everlasting credit, he laughed so hard that he tumbled out of our Ford Pinto and rolled around on the grass for a while in fits of hysterics.

I had no idea what was so funny. Me in my bonnet and my floor-length (polyester) gingham dress and my lace apron. I just thought I was being descriptively accurate.

Since that time, I have never again been able to see fireworks without thinking of this incident. And now I hope you enjoy your celebrations tonight. Think of me (and of human reproduction!) when the big one goes off.


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall