Friday, July 24, 2009
it's 4:30 A.M. and my husband is shaking my shoulder, "we've got to go. come on."
"Are you kidding me? Oh, yeah. okay. Get the chairs. I'll be right up."
We decide not to wake up Wade since we think he needs his rest and we know he'll be grumpy by the time the fireworks are over tonight. Don't tell anyone, but the best spot for the parade is right in front of Zion's bank so we take our chairs up and sit by the wall of the bank and read our books until 7:00 A.M. when we are allowed to put our chairs out to the edge of the street to save our places for the parade at 6:00 P.M. Sound crazy? well, by 5:30 or 6:00 A.M. there aren't many places left. I mean, you can always come later and sit in the back, but then your kids have to climb over everyone to get the candy and you can't reach them and they could get killed by a fire engine or something, right?
Cherie was in charge of the committee that built the float for our stake. This is the first time i was ever aware that she hates parades. How long have we been friends? I didn't even know it was possible to hate parades. What's to hate? the heat? the crowds? the children, tripping over each other to get candy and crying when they don't get a piece? the traffic? the noise? Karlee crying when the clowns come within half a block of her? The "give a kid a flag" float from which they force a paper or plastic miniature of the symbol of our nation into the hand of every toddler so that there is something to sweep from the parade route when it's all over?
What about the stuff to love? Landon, dancing to the music and waving his flag and cheering whenever he sees a car. Karlee, sharing the candy she catches with her little brother. Me, using Grant's pocket knife to extract Megan's orthodontic bracket from the wire so the tooth that is stuck to the taffy can come out of her mouth. Wade, in the parade, saving candy until he sees us and then dumping his bag out in his sister's outstretched hands. Seeing the float for 30 seconds that took your friends 30 days to build. Bagpipes. Michael, grimacing that we are only on the 89th out of 110 entries (and we were worried about Wade being grumpy).
But i realize, sitting at the parade, that it isn't just the parade I enjoy. It's the being with family and friends. The celebrating our nation and our state and our heritage. Sharing that with our children. Right after the fireworks start, with Landon huddled in my arms against the gunfire and cannonshot, i'm wondering if all the effort is worth it, i hear a tiny voice behind me say, "i like the colorful ones. they make me happy." Yeah. That's it. I like this. It makes me happy.
We have the best fireworks ever. it's kind of a smallish event, so you're sitting right under it and the pyros are so proud of their handiwork. Whenever there is a really cool set, the crowd whistles and cheers and when there is a piddly one, everyone laughs and says "ooooh!" Really, though, they are artists and at the end, they come out carrying little flare thingies and take a big bow and everyone gives them a standing ovation. Last night there was even a big explosion right after they bowed. Fun!
The funny thing is, by the time the fireworks were over, he was all about fireworks. Ask him next time you see him. Sound effects and actions and everything.
The BEST float in the whole parade!
at 9:35 AM