Two days before New Years, all the Dutch folks get all excited and prepare themselves for the big event by going out and purchasing tons of fireworks. Per year more than tens of millions if not billions of euros are shot off into the night sky. This is a tradition that dates back many many years, and each year as a parent I find it extremely difficult with which to deal. There are always articles and news reports of people getting their hands blown off, losing one or both eyes, even a couple poor fools who get themselves killed. Of course, tradition with this family dictates that the father drive out to the fireworks store towards Haastrecht so that each and every child can personally pick out his or her favorite collection. Now all the kids of the neighborhood are outside tossing fire-crackers around, sometimes an explosion high in the air, it almost sounds like there is a war going on some place. The best I can do I guess is just trust my children to use their common sense and be very careful. The two smallest kids have grown up and refuse to buy those nice kids packets with sparklers and stuff, and now they prefer the hard-core big kid explosions. Oh dear, I will just have to cross my fingers and hope for the best. New Years is a time of looking back and celebrating the future which is still to come.
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