For the Fourth of July weekend, my family and I traveled up to Vermont to do a little camping on our property up there. It was only for three nights, but those three nights were a nice little reprieve from the status quo at home. Besides Friday night (which we spent in the car due to frequent cloud to ground lighting strikes), the weather was perfect. It was cool with temperatures peaking in the mid 70's and there was a slight breeze constantly blowing and rustling through the tree tops. Before heading up to Vermont, we bought a small box of assorted fireworks. These were of the legal sort, only "emitting showers of sparks", but to our 4.5 and 2 year old, they were the best thing beside the s'mores they craved all weekend. Each night we set off a few of them and each night there was the request to set off more. The look on our son's face (4.5) was one of pure joy. Our daughter on the other hand, while enthralled by the light show, wanted nothing to do with the noise of them. So as I set them off, our daughter sat in my wife's lap with her ears covered staring intently at the light show. It was adorable to say the least.
Sunday night, our last night in Vermont, was our best night there. After we finished the fireworks and were sitting around the fire waiting for the perfect moment for all of us to pack it in for the night, the second light show commenced. It was right at dusk when they started coming out, fireflies by the dozens. (I vacillate here between fireflies and lighting bugs. I guess it all depends on where you grew up and what your family called them). For the next 20 minutes or so, we sat there and pointed like madmen into the trees. "See those over there!" "Look at those!" "Wait, there's more over there!" I was getting just as excited as our kids were. To see little flashing yellow lights completely surrounding us was amazing. To see it with our kids was an even bigger bonus. I honestly don't remember a time since I was a little kid when I had seen so many fireflies at once. There were the fast fireflies, on a mission at night, and the meandering ones enjoying their evening stroll through the air. Once my wife and kids went to bed, I stayed out for a few extra minutes to watch the show and take in all I could. I hope that the moment with the fireflies we shared as a family lasts a long time with our kids. Nature can amaze even the most skeptical adult, all we have to do is put down our phones and look out into the night sky.