We live in the town of Sandbach, which is a wonderful, lively South Cheshire market town, just off the M6. One of the things I love about the town is the number of events that are organised throughout the year – the most well-known of which is our Transport Festival, held in the spring. We also have Father Christmas driving around the area in his new-fangled motorised sleigh in the run up to Christmas, a monthly farmers market, and of course a rather excellent bonfire and firework display for the 5th November. Before children the geekdaddy and I would always walk down to the park for the fireworks, but we haven’t been since having the geekdaughter, as we were sure the noise would bother her.
This year, the geekdaughter is really getting excited about all major festivals. Having got over her excitement about Halloween, her next target was Bonfire night, and she got really excited about the whole thing, especially the fireworks. So I decided that it was time for us to take her to her first proper firework display. And as the geekson is generally pretty obliging about most things we decided we’d take him along too, meaning we could all go out as a family.
It was only the throwaway comment from my mother “is it suitable for little ones?” that made me suddenly have second thoughts. But them I remembered friends talking about ear defenders for kids being good for cutting out loud noises, so I abused my Amazon Prime account and ordered two pairs – red for the geekdaughter and blue for the geekson.
The fireworks display was scheduled to start at 7pm, which is our kids’ bedtime, so I was aware we’d be taking a bit of a chance taking them out, but I really wanted to do it. So shortly after 6 we all wrapped up nice and warm and headed out to the park.
It was the usual well-organised event that I’ve come to expect in our town. All entrances to the park were manned, and the areas with no lighting had some very powerful temporary lights in place. There were a couple of rides for the kids – a bouncy slide and a little “jumping jack”. The geekdaughter wanted to go on the slide, but her bladder stymied that one for her (we’d foolishly forgotten to get her to “go” before we left home, so had to use the public toilets in the park, and there wasn’t time after that to do anything other than take our place ready for the display). There wasn’t a big bonfire, but there was an effigy of Guy Fawkes that was duly ignited before the main firework event.
As the countdown started to the fireworks I popped the ear defenders onto both kids, and crossed my fingers. The geekson was getting unsettled, and I was having to jiggle the pram to keep him from screaming his head off, so part of me was gearing up to make a speedy exit if he didn’t like the fireworks…
In actuality, both kids were absolutely captivated by the firework display. If I wanted proof that the ear defenders were working I didn’t need to look any further than the geekson, who was staring at the sky throughout the whole thing, watching, fascinated, and quite often smiling (although I didn’t manage to capture that with my camera). Given that he’d cried earlier in the day at the noise of our electric drill, I am quite sure if the noise of the fireworks had bothered him he would have let me know. And as for the geekdaughter? Well, given the monumental “I don’t want to go home” tantrum we had from her when it all finished, I think she enjoyed it too!
I recorded a little soundscape to give you a feel for what it was like being there:
One of the things I am looking forward to most as a parent is the events and experiences that I can share with my kids, the enjoying of things as a family. It feels like that is starting already, which is earlier than I expected to! Here’s to next year!