What do you think would happen if six young people came to your house for a week of 16 hour days, maybe more? What if they all wore the same shirts, usually looked hot and needed a lot of cold drinks? What if they got hungry several times a day and it was up to you to feed them? I know exactly what you would do – you would fall in love with them.
I’ll be honest, the week of July 4th is difficult. It’s hot, exhausting and smelly. My home is overtaken by people coming to buy fireworks, some of them I know, but many of them I don’t. My garage is full of things that go bang, smoke and “emit showers of sparks.” I am sleep deprived, stressed and way out of my comfort zone. But then there’s these kids’ unending energy, smiles that won’t quit and hearts of gold. They have one goal this week: Dedicate 24 hours a day to making Regnier Fireworks successful so that my pyro-crazed husband can put on a community fireworks display that folks will be talking about for weeks.
This fireworks crew become MY kids for a week. They’re certainly here more than they’re at their own homes. I promise I’ll give them back to their families when the event is said and done, but for this week they’re mine. That’s the part of it I love. I love feeding them, fetching change, bandaging ouchies, and sharing my house.
And, they have my utmost gratitude. The obvious reason I’m grateful to them is because we couldn’t do any of this without them, but it’s more than that. Lance, Chelsea, Leslie, Avery, Annie and Nolan, thanks for putting up with me trying to take your pictures all the time. Thanks for not grumping at me when I’m always forcing you to eat when you’re not hungry. Thanks for not minding reheated leftovers and cold sandwiches. Thanks for eating what I make for you without complaint even when you’d rather have something else. Thanks for working out in the heat while I sit inside because I’m such a wimp. Thanks for enduring the house full of stuff till we can’t hardly walk around in here. Thanks for all your ‘thank-yous,’ though truly, it is I that should be thanking you.
Chelsea, thanks for sitting with me during my absolute worst moments when I didn’t know how to make the cash registers work. You turned the tears into laughter. I love you so much.
Avery, thanks for your delightful sense of humor, always coming up with the perfect comment to bring a moment of levity to every difficult situation.
Lance, thanks for being such a hard worker, volunteering for every cruddy job and for asking for the leftover bacon cheese bread. And you like lemonade Chex mix!
Annie, you work so hard, endure the heat and do whatever we ask. You eat my deviled eggs, park your car with the KU tag in my yard with no apologies, and I really love the table decorations you made to decorate our stand.
Leslie, you are a sweetheart. I love seeing you all bundled up in a hoodie and a blanket on these hot July mornings. Hearing you argue with Lance makes me laugh. How funny that you want ice cream instead of supper and who knew you loved Cheetos?
Nolan, you know we could never do this without you. You’re the only one if the crew I get to ‘keep’ once the week is done. I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be!
Special shout out to Kasey and Laura. You got to be my kids for a day or two as well.
All of you are treasures, and I am so blessed to have you all to help me make it through fireworks season! Same time, same place next year?