Friday, July 08, 2005

Fireworks on the Fourth

Originally uploaded by The Gulde Family.

As a new parent, I wondered how Francis would respond to things that frightened her. Would she cower and cling to her daddy? Would she face her fear and bid her opponents to do their worst?

Turns out, when faced with the horror of fireworks, Francis did a little of both.

The Brown Family came out to Oak Park and joined us in watching the city's fireworks display (pretty impressive for a town this size). We were on a high school practice field across the street from the stadium, where they were launching the missiles. As I should have foreseen, from this viewing location, the display was very loud.

With the first BOOM, Francis panicked. She cried, and tried to climb up my front and into my shirt through the collar. I tried to comfort her, and handed off to Sally when I failed. Francis clung to her mom tightly, peaking out one side and then the other before renewing her tears and burrowing deeper.

Finally, I took Francis behind a utility building on the field. The booms and hisses were still above us, but she didn't have to look at the fireworks directly. Instead, she could peak around the building and see them.

Francis found bravery in concealment. Under this cover, she immediately calmed down and started watching the show. We walked back to the rest of the group, and she started laughing and pointing at the fireworks, which were no quieter or dimmer than before.

I think there's a lesson in this experience. If you ever see something so scary that it makes you want to cry and climb inside your daddy's shirt, you should just find a spot where you can reevaluate the situation. Maybe whatever it is won't seem so frightening after that.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

I have to say Francis looks like a cartoon character here...think Peanuts.