Last night at the Pirate Festival in Mahone Bay, they reenacted the burning of the American privateer the Young Teazer in 1813 during the War of 1812 (the war both Canada and the U.S. think they won). A larger British ship chased the Teazer into the bay where it got trapped. The Teazer's first mate, who had been captured by the British before and had been released on his gentleman's promise that he would no longer fight against them, decided he wasn't going to be taken alive -- he would surely have been hanged -- so he blew the Teazer up.
That orb hanging in the sky to the right of the ship was a giant orange harvest moon. (I have never been able to photograph incredible moons very well.s Who knows the trick?)
There were a group of enthusiastic Loyalist reenactors on the wharf next to us, firing off authentic cannons in the direction of the "burning" ship. Their leader told us our hearing would probably not be affected if we covered our ears and kept our mouths slightly open. It was one of those moments when one questions one's parenting decisions. Not only was this event taking place well past both the children's bedtimes, but it might also permanently damage their hearing. (We had a moment like that last weekend, too, when we gave permission for both Luke and Sylvie to hand-feed unshelled almonds to a black bear at Oaklawn Farms in the valley. I remember hoping this wouldn't be remembered by the children as the moment of gross negligence on our part that resulted in a life-long handicap but it turned out just fine. Immediately after feeding Blueberry, Luke said, "This is the best vacation ever!" It could have gone either way. Sometimes you just have to take a chance.*)
So last night I wrapped a blanket around Vivi's head and instructed her to use her hands to cover her ears over that. Luke also covered his ears. After a couple of blasts, which caused the dog next to us to run away from his people in sheer terror, Vivi fell deeply asleep and slept through the rest of the cacophony.
For a little while I worried that the first blast had rendered her completely deaf and so immune to the rest of the blasts but her hearing is just fine today.
*I promise, it really wasn't as risky as all that.