Me: “Bon Jovi!”
Him: “There’s way too much Bon Jovi on this station.”
Me: “There’s no such thing as too much Bon Jovi.”
This is how conversation on almost every topic goes with LOD. He and I are from different eras, different points of view. If one of us likes it, chances are the other thinks it’s stupid. But we really, really try to find some common ground. And that’s why we were in LOD’s car together with the kids, listening to satellite radio as we drove to Lansing to see the fireworks.
Ann Arbor, the super-duper-all-American small city we live in, does not have fireworks. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t. LOD had heard that there were fireworks in Lansing, the state capital, which is just a little over an hour away. So we decided to go, all together.
LOD drove in his new car with the fancy radio, and I navigated, since I’d been to East Lansing, which abuts Lansing. I was a little worried about the drive, because LOD and I are better when we don’t have to spend an hour plus making small talk. Ten-minute scheduling conversation, fine. 20-minute parent-teacher conference, aces. Five-minute “you’re busted” conversation with one of the kids, plus one. But all that time in the front seat of the car together (not to mention the ride back) and I was a little apprehensive.
But my fears were unfounded. We talked about 80s and 90s music with the kids the whole way there, found the fireworks area with an hour to spare, and decided to find someplace to eat. I navigated us to the restaurant I’d been to with a friend, and we ordered burgers and fries. And then realized we’d have to eat fast if we wanted to get back to where we could see the fireworks. And then we got caught in a traffic jam and thought we were going to miss it all. But in the end we got a great spot and got to see five separate fireworks shows.
Yes, five shows! Lansing is serious about its fireworks. Before the city fireworks there’s a private fireworks show at the Lansing Lugnuts baseball stadium. And then everyone turns around to watch the city fireworks, which last for 45 minutes. And a separate one a few miles away and below the city show. And while those are happening there was some other show a few miles away that we could see, too. And then we saw another one on our way out of town. It was the most explosively patriotic Independence Day night ever. See?
The people parked around us started leaving before the city fireworks were over, so by the time they were done we had no problems getting out, made it to the highway easily, and drove home with no traffic jams. The boys fell asleep in the back seat. LOD and I spent the return trip talking about Pat Benatar and the choreography to “Love is a Battlefield.” He dropped the kids and me off at my house and carried our sleeping younger son into his room and put him in bed.
As we were driving home LOD said, “I think that was worth the trip.” And it was.