Friday, September 19, 2008

Everybody loves a parade

I love parades—as long as I’m not in them. As a child, I was crazy about baton and practiced it diligently until I heard I had to march in a parade. I quit that day, cold turkey.

As parents, we often find ourselves doing things we dislike, sometimes detest. For me, it’s parades. Perhaps it’s because I get migraines, and the combination of sirens, marching bands and crowd noise are sure to trigger one.

My first parent parade experience occured when my daughter was in first grade. I excitedly crawled into the decorated trailer with her and 40 of her closest (and loudest friends) from school. I situated myself, my daughter, and my then two-year-old son, in what I thought was the best position. It wasn’t until the engine started that I realized we were right behind the exhaust of the diesel truck. As the wheels began to roll, I looked around and noticed that I was the only parent on the float. Obviously, they knew something I didn’t.

Now I walk behind the float, which works fairly well, until there’s a gap, and I have to run to keep up in front of a town full of people. Today was the local high school’s homecoming parade, and its feeder elementary schools were invited to participate. All was well until my son decided half way through that he couldn’t stand another minute on the float. After my experience with screaming, I mean, spirited kids, I couldn’t quite blame him.

He disembarked and after dragging him the remainder of the parade, we reached the end of our route. My kids were tired but happy as we headed the two miles back to the car.

“I have a headache,” said my son, “but I can’t wait until the Christmas parade!”

“Neither can, I, baby, neither can I.”

After all, everybody loves a parade!

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