Fireworks Hunting

When God turns our weaknesses to strength

Headshot2 Natalie Frisk

When my daughter was about 3 years-old, she learned about fireworks. And she loved them. The explosions, the colours, the experience. She had seen them first in the wintertime when dark came early, and crowds were light.

And then the spring came, and she heard that a holiday was coming that had fireworks. And there would be large crowds and my social anxiety flared to new heights. I didn’t have it in me to take my 3-year-old out late at night (well past her bedtime) into a large crowd (that may have paralyzed me) to watch fireworks. I just couldn’t. But she wanted to so desperately.

And so, I got creative. I told my 3-year-old we would go “fireworks hunting.” We got her loaded into the car, in pjs, cozied up with a blanket. We went for ice cream. I told her that we would look and listen for fireworks and then drive to where they were. We’d watch them and then we’d look and listen again, and head in the direction of more fireworks.

Thank God for 3-year-olds. They don’t necessarily last too long once they are cozy and moving and its dark outside. We maybe saw 2 sets of fireworks that night. But she didn’t care, she absolutely loved it. Fireworks hunting was born, and it would become one of our (hers and mine) favourite traditions that have continued for almost 7 years running.

With an anxiety disorder, I really struggle with being in large crowds and that feeling was worsened with my child being so young. I thought that I’d never be able to really help her experience the joy of fireworks in the way that she wanted. But God did us one better.

Despite my anxiety disorder, God partnered with my creativity to start something better for our family. Fireworks hunting has become such a gift to us. When I felt weak, He was strong. He took the desire of my daughter’s gleeful little heart to see fireworks, coupled with my immense anxiety and, allowed the result to be something unique and special just for us.

I assume her enthusiasm will wane with age, but it hasn’t yet. At almost 10 years-old, she leapt off the couch with excitement when I told her that we’d be fireworks hunting on the holiday weekend that has just passed. That night we saw 38 sets of fireworks – and she figured each one averaged about 6 fireworks each. (The math on that, courtesy of my daughter, is 228 fireworks.)

We have life chats. We talk about everything and nothing. We thank God for the night and the awesomeness of fireworks. And we make so many amazing memories. I pray you, too, find your fireworks hunting tradition with your children.