Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Monday, July 07, 2008

I love a parade...

It was my family's habit to attend the Detroit Thanksgiving Day parade. Everyone lived in the area, so we were never traveling on that weekend. [Seriously. Growing up, I had one uncle in Arizona, one in Alden, MI, and the next furthest was Lincoln Park, MI, which is still the Detroit area. The rest of the dozen all lived within 10 miles of each other.]
So, each Thanksgiving we'd bundle up in scarves and mittens and long underwear, pick up whichever of my cousins wanted to attend, we'd cram into the car (this was before seat belt laws) and drive downtown.
It was always cold. Always. Sometimes it was snowy, sometimes freezing rain. It was always crowded. When we were little, I think we brought a ladder to sit on. When we kids were a little older, my dad knew someone who had a business right on the parade route, so we'd go to the upper floors of his building. We'd open the windows and wave, and once in a while someone in the parade would look up and wave back. It was still cold, though.
There were the giant balloons, award-winning high school bands, professional floats and tumblers accompanying them, and even Santa making his grand entrance at the end. It was a spectacle.

This year, though, I got a bee in my bonnet when I realized my kids have never attended a parade of any kind. I started looking around for a Memorial Day Parade. Our town didn't have one, but the city right next door did. Off we went.
It was perfect. I'd never attended a "small town" parade before. We showed up about 15 minutes before it started and still got a wonderful spot with curb seating. The local Lions Club and VFW members were throwing candy. Heck, it seemed everyone was throwing candy. There were local businesses, the local fire station had a truck, the county police were in it, our local congressional representative was walking the route, only one high school band, the middle school band... There were groups from each of the elementary schools, even, wearing matching T-shirts.
The kids loved it all. With that in mind, my in-laws told us that their town had an Independence Day parade. This one showed that it's campaign season, with lots of cars saying "Vote for So-and-so!" This one had a multitude of tractors as well, but the atmosphere was the same. Down to the person sitting near us who would point out the candy the kids had missed on the pavement.

These parades didn't have the giant balloons or the fancy floats. Only one band, maybe two, and they weren't quite perfectly in sync. But the kids loved them, and I've got the sense to know that's what really matters.

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At 4:50 PM, Blogger THE MOM WITH BROWNIES said...

Wow that brought back memories. I marched in bands during parade, rode in trucks for softball in parades, walked with my brownie troop in a parade and have never been to a big parade.

We're Bass Ackward in the parade business Heather. :o) I'll have to take the kids to a big one. It'll be a first for all of us I'm sure. Sounds like fun.


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