Monday, November 11, 2002

We love a parade

Normally, I never take my kids to things like parades. I try not to take my son places where, if he gets overstimulated, I can't make a quick getaway, and my daughter is sometimes spooked by crowds and noise. Plus, I'm lazy. So our city's Veteran's Day parade would never have gotten me out of the house yesterday if it wasn't for one thing: It was lining up in our backyard.

Well, actually, it was lining up in the parking lot of the high school right on the other side of our backyard fence, but we could still see the gathering, gathering, gathering marchers up close and personal from our rear window. One of my daughter's friends was marching with one of the bands, and he came over twice to use our bathroom (perhaps the authors of "Refrigerator Rights," below, should think about a sequel called "Potty Privileges"). After watching the bands warm up and the fire trucks pull up and the army vehicles line up and the big flag get unfurled, it was kind of irresistible to walk around the corner when they were finally ready to march and take in the show.

And of course, my kids loved it, making me feel guilty for not exposing them to things like this when they're not mere footsteps away. There was plenty room for my son to jump and dance to the band music and spin around in fevered excitement, and if anybody minded that he kept shouting "Ahoy! Ahoy!" whenever representatives of the Navy passed, they didn't say so. There were enough kids we recognized among the marchers to make it a little social exercise for my daughter, and I even recognized one of my co-workers playing drums. It was a real community-inspiring affair, and I was pleased that we got to try it without it being trying. Now if I could just get them to start the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from that same parking lot, then we'd really have something.

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