I spent a few of my early elementary school years living in Oklahoma.  My dad worked in the oil fields, he hunted, I played in red clay mud puddles the size of a city block.  We were a typical “good ole” family.  Because we lived in the boondocks we did not get the treat of large production firework show on the Fourth of July.  We had a bar-be-que, a fire pit and did fireworks out in the field.

One year, I think I was probably about eight years old.  I was sitting under the tailgate of someones truck.  I was with two of my little girlfriends watching the show.  we were having a grand old time.

A grand old time until one of those spinning fireworks attacked me.

We were watching them light the spinners and laughing.  Then suddenly one came spinning right for us.  My two friends went left, I went right.

The spinner went right.

I don’t really remember a lot of exact details.  I remember being so scared!  It was in my face.  It was fast.  It was hot.  I was trying to knock it away.  People were running away and towards me all at the same time.  I was screaming.

Then I remember being on a kitchen counter being washed down and cleaned up.  I was still screaming and crying.

I don’t remember the days after.  I don’t remember seeing a doctor or having band-aids.  I don’t remember being afraid or anything…not at the time.

Many years later, we had moved back to California.  We would always have fireworks at my family Fourth of July party.  Sparklers, royal candles, spinners.  I always remember being afraid.  I could never enjoy the fun.  All the other kids were running around having a grand time and I would sit huddled on the top of the patio, where the spinners couldn’t reach me.

I was terrified.

Now I have my own children.  Sometimes there are sparklers.  I’m always afraid and I feel stupid and like a lame mom for trying to keep my kids away from the fun.  Nobody really understands why I’m so uptight.  It’s because I’m afraid.

So, this Fourth of July.  Please go out and have a wonderful family get together.  Please enjoy the city sponsored fireworks because they are beautiful!  Please do not have simple and “harmless” fireworks in your backyard.  No matter how safe you think they are,  they could traumatize your child for the rest of their life.  They could kill your child.

San Diego Fireworks Guide 2011

Annual Big Bay Boom Downtown San Diego July 4, 9 p.m.
Chula Vista Fireworks Chula Vista Harbor Yacht July 4, 9 p.m.
Coronado Fireworks Spreckels Park July 4, 9 p.m.
Disneyland 1313 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim July 1-4, 9:30 p.m.
El Cajon Fireworks Kennedy Park July 4, 9 p.m.
Escondido Fireworks Grape Day Park July 4, 9 p.m.
Lake Murray Murray Park Drive July 4, 9:15 p.m.
LEGOLAND California 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad July 3-4, 8:30 p.m.
Mira Mesa Fireworks Mira Mesa Community Park July 4, 9 p.m.
National City Fireworks Kimball Park July 4, 9 p.m.
Ocean Beach Fireworks Ocean Beach Pier July 4, 9 p.m.
Picnic Fireworks in La Jolla La Jolla Shores & Kellog Park July 4, 9 p.m.
Poway Fireworks Poway Highschool July 4, 9 p.m.
Rancho Bernardo Fireworks Bernardo Heights Middle School July 4, 9 p.m.
Santee Fireworks Town Center Community Park West July 4, 9 p.m.
SeaWorld San Diego 500 SeaWorld Drive, San Diego July 4, 9:30 p.m.