On Memorial Day every year, my neighborhood does a Memorial Day parade. This is our fourth parade, and the first year we were invited even though we hadn’t yet moved into our house. It’s that kind of open and friendly neighborhood, and we met so many wonderful people that day.
This year, we know what to expect. We arrive before nine and park the bikes. We keep them to the side of the road and play with friends until the fire trucks, ambulances, and other offical vehicles arrive. Before the parade starts off, the wee ones know to cover their ears, so we have no more screaming in fright or inability to deal with the piercing sirens.
Little Miss didn’t have any of the donuts this year — her dairy allergy, after all — but she was ok with that. She’s so good about knowing what she can and can’t have. Instead, she expresses her naughty side in other ways.
Today? She insisted on wearing her Vikings shirt. Personally, I’m glad that she loves her Vikings, but … she would not wear red, white and blue. And she decided that she didn’t want to ride her bike in the parade. She wanted to take the wagon.
I informed her that there was no way I was pulling the wagon around the neighborhood. She looked at me quite innocently and explained that she was going to pull the wagon. Her animals had decided that they wanted to go to the parade, too. In a test run down the block to the parade start, she proudly pulled her wagon.
And in the cold, she was a good mommy and covered up her babies with a blanket. And the red, white and blue bandana I snuck in there.
Mister Man was more traditional in his clothing and parade technique. He was so proud to go all the way through the neighborhood.
Of course, as I stood at the start/stop point talking to friend, I began to wonder why they were taking so long. I saw other children finishing the circuit. I saw children finishing a second circuit. Friends were preparing to leave. I finally called my husband to see where they were. “Oh. We’re hanging out at home. Where are you?” Yep, they only did three quarters of the circuit before stopping at our house and deciding they were done with the parade.
I hiked back home, but I neglected to bring home any participant ribbons for them. After all, they didn’t really complete their participation did they? Maybe next year.
In the meantime? I love where I live.
The only thing I thought was a little sad is that there were only three veterans (including my dad) in the entire group. We had three hundred fifty-three people there — according to the organizer’s little clicker counter thingie — and yet so few veterans. This included many in the crowd who were middle aged and grandparents. Perhaps they were too shy to announce their status, but those three that were there I hope appreciated the ovation they received.
Happy Memorial Day (and again on May 30th)!