My son Megh, eight and a half, and I were lying on the floor and talking of fireworks, during the festival season of Diwali. I told him about my childhood and how crazy I was for fireworks. I told him I would run for more fireworks as soon as the earlier lot was used up. I told him that in my time parents were not aware of the issues of safety, pollution, child labor etc. associated with firecrackers and how my father never stopped me from buying them. I told him fireworks were not so expensive like they are now and yet people did not buy too much and there was not much variety and imported Chinese fireworks.
Then we both saw the Facebook Page about ‘Say No to Fireworks’. I was reading but I found he was not much interested. We were going through a phase of what I like to call ‘Fireworks Dilemma’. We don’t like fireworks for so many reasons, Ashna who is now 12 left it since she was seven. But Megh loves to experiment with fire and he I still under the spell of the magic of fireworks. I shared with him all my concerns about fireworks.He said, he didn’t want too many and he was not very fussy about what he got. I told hime how fussy I was and I threw tantrums for fireworks. I told him I was ‘Jiddi’ (stubborn). He was laughing!
We saw a video about ‘science behind fireworks’. We saw the same video last year too and had talked about why the video announces, ‘Don’t Try at Home’. He understands issues like safety, pollution, child labor, etc. connected with fireworks but is helpless against that Magic. This time he bought fireworks worth Rs 1000. But he also tried to make at home. He made crackers using match sticks. He collected match-sticks heads and powdered them and tried mixing it with Epsom, salt, washing powder etc. I know he is going to empty many more match boxes making his crackers in the future.
I could say ‘No’ to fireworks but couldn’t say ‘No’ to child’s curiosity and amazement. I see how I can support him by supervising and making him aware safety measures but can’t impose my belief on him, that fireworks are bad.