Happy Independence Day, fellow Americans! I'm celebrating our freedom by letting my child run naked through the yard.
But last night, the Third of July for those of you who got confused, was a real fireworks spectacular. To be fair, I understand: most people have the 4th off from work and so they can stay up late and get rowdy. The actual day of, they're looking at work the next morning and probably have to tone it down. So, to each their own - I personally don't mind a few days of rowdiness! But I couldn't help but feel bad for all the frightened kids and shaking pets I know were huddled around their family. And if that isn't enough for you, consider the people who suffer from PTSD - who have to medicate themselves just to get through this week of what would otherwise be revelry.
Look - I'm not telling you not to shoot off fireworks. Heck, it's INDEPENDENCE Day - that would be so antithetical. But, if you know someone who might get overwhelmed or scared by the fancy fire-lights in the sky - I have a few ideas. Bear with me, because none of these is a perfect solution.
National Parks Pride
Did you know that regulations prohibit fireworks on public federal land? So any of our many exceptional National Parks are a great retreat for a patriotic holiday! Really, this is my favorite option because it introduces kids to the natural history of their country. The United States are vast and cover so many different habitats and climates - it's really a blessing to have free and/or inexpensive lodging in some of the most gorgeous places in the world.
During the day when things are a bit quieter, try an afternoon tea with your little ones! It's a fun way to make the day feel special and expose your kids to new cultural experiences. In my experience local bed and breakfasts often host high tea, with some even including a dress code! If you really want to take it the extra mile, you could have a lunch made of foods true to Philadelphia in 1776! And if that doesn't appeal to you, congratulations, you're not a geek. It's cool, we're ok with that - we have dragons. And period-accurate high teas. Sometimes. Maybe go camping or have a really early bedtime for the evening to avoid any unwanted noise.
For many, myself included, the jolt from fireworks comes not from the flashing lights, but from the thundering BOOMS that rattle your seat! Perhaps your little one could enjoy the fireworks from afar with the help of some soundproof headphones. I found a pair for my son on Amazon for around $20 with free shipping, and we even used them during the Chicago Air and Water Show - during which we were on the roof of a building next to the beach in Lincoln Park. Shep liked the airplanes but actually fell asleep - so they must have worked! Plus, he looked so cute wearing them with his flag tee shirt from Old Navy.
I should add that I can't guarantee you won't hear fireworks, no matter how remote you get. This is unfortunate, but hopefully you can negotiate a happy medium so that you - and everyone - can celebrate in harmony! Woohoo, we're the world's craziest experiment! USA! USA! USA! Okay, I'll stop.
Do you have sensory processing disorders or a sensitivity to noise and light? How do you cope with the Fourth of July? @pi3sugarpi3.