There are days where I just thank God so much for everything with which He has blessed my family and me.
Tonight for the first time my wife, my children and I stood in a yard and watched a neighborhood fireworks display for nearly an hour. Rachael and Carson were scared of the fireworks last year because they were so loud, but during every lull tonight they asked if there were going to be more because they loved them so much.
There are a few things my wife and I have never done in our seven plus years together. Though we have two children I have yet to see her in a bathing suit as we have never swam in the ocean or in a pool simultaneously, and until tonight we had never stood under the stars and watched fireworks together. This was not necessarily due to a lack of effort, but the times we had tried to go watch fireworks we were unable due to either a lack of firework displays or inclement weather.
Tonight we were at my mother in-law's for a while and after dark some of her neighbors started setting fireworks off. My children were overjoyed and wanted to go out to watch them. We watched there for a little while, then decided it was time to pack the kids up and head home since it was ten o'clock.
On our way home we saw several fireworks in different directions, so we drove the back way home because there are people who set fireworks off every year in the neighborhood behind our apartment complex. We found a good place to pull off where there was a clearing between the trees and got out of the car.
For the next forty minutes or so we sat, stood and watched the kids run in circles only covering their ears occasionally. They are going to sleep fantastically tonight. I watched my children's faces light up with the joy of seeing fireworks closely for the first time, and I held my beautiful wife closely as we watched a fantastic neighborhood display of fireworks celebrating the 233rd year of our country's independence.
After about a half hour or so, I took a good look around me and realized how precious my life really is. God has blessed me and my wife with good jobs, great families, clothes, food and the gift of His Son's blood that saved our eternal souls.
Without trying too hard to wax poetic, it was one of the most beautiful nights I have ever experienced. My son is two and my daughter will be four in a couple of weeks, so I don't know if they'll remember tonight or not. However, standing there kissing the love of my life in the light of fireworks with our children running around us in circles is something that I personally am unlikely to ever forget.
For that I am so very thankful.
Happy Independence Day, everyone.