Christmas Lights Parade 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

You'd think, that parades are fun, right? All of the lights, and the costumes, and the floats, and the singing and clapping and free candy and...

Ok I'm getting ahead of myself. Lets back up a few blocks.

Actually, lets back up allll the way to when Christopher came home late, after promising to be home on time. That seems like a good place to start.

No wait, I'm being harsh, so lets not. I forgive you honey.
You better not do it again tonight.

Aaaanyways, gosh I'm being dramatic this morning, we'll start our adventure in the parking lot, by the only little tree (I wanted to make sure we'd be able to find Night Fury, who I have yet to introduce you to, come time to leave) that swam in the midst of the sea of cars.



I hate that hat.
I mean it you guys, I hate it.
Buts its the only one I have, and it was 35 degrees, so... sacrifices, ya know?

And Evelyn looks like a demon polar bear baby. I mean, a cute one, but, still.

I should have known things were going to be a little more on the south pole side, versus north.

Ugly hats and scary looking babies... it was bad news from the start.



Well that ones a little bit better, right? At least the creepy laser beams are gone from Evelyn's eyes. Now she just looks scared. I don't know which is better.

So there we are, standing in the middle of this parking lot, pulling out the double stroller and loading it up, strapping the baby polar bear into the sleepy wrap on my chest, making sure everyone was wearing 50 layers of clothing, had binkys, had clean diapers, had snot free faces- all that good stuff.

Next- find a spot on the parade route.
Which isn't as easy as it sounds.



After pacing back and forth along the sidewalk and getting frustrated with the lack of available space, a nice couple overheard our raised voices, and offered us a spot beside them, in front of an empty car. That couple later disappeared, but the couple who was beside them, were gentled hearted and offered our kids a spot on their tailgate. THANK YOU, nice family with the truck bed full of leaves and soda fountain cups that my son was trying to eat, we love you.

PS. Christopher sort of looks like a male model in that picture. Just go with it.

After we get settled, it doesn't take long for the kids to start getting antsy. They can't stand still. They want up, they want down. They want music and lights and where is the dang parade already?!



Its up there, just around the corner.

I see it, I see it!
Do you see it?




Who cares, its cold.
Someone get Lovey a blanket?


Side Note: This year I asked my Grandpa what he wanted for Christmas, and he replied with "I want you to get your kids coats". So Grandpa, Merry Christmas, Charlie may be miserable, but at least now hes warm, and miserable.

My Grandpa is sort of amazing.
But I'm guessing this probably isn't the picture that he wants framed, as evidence of his self-less gift.




Did I mention there were deer, at the parade?


Heee, just kidding.

But there were horses!



Finally, its starting! Lets get this show on the road!

Gallop gallop, clop clop clop.




Eleanore's eyes lit up. They sparkled. They were huuuge, as was her smile.

And this is why we went. I had prepared myself for what was to come next, all because I remembered the wonder that I had when I was a little girl. I remember how I would have gone crazy for a Christmas lights parade. I remember singing Christmas carols with my Grams, and looking frantically for Santa, anytime I'd hear a jingle bell. I can't imagine anyone keeping that from me, for any reason. It would have been devastating.

We had to go, for Eleanore.



As I stood back, letting Charlie and Christopher get a good seat in the front, the baby started to fuss. It started with a whimper that was soothed with a binky, and then...

And then our adventure got into a big imaginary parade float wreck, right there in the crowds.

Two out of three were screaming. Things were being dropped and thrown. Glares came from all around, every direction.

But through it all, I could see Eleanore, happier than she'd ever been in her life. There, standing in the front row, just feet away from the marching band, dancing while everyone else stood still, singing and shouting while everyone else stood silent- and it was all worth it.


I made eye contact with another woman at that point, a Grandma, who had been looking over at me every couple of minutes. At first I had thought she was annoyed with me, or the baby rather, getting frustrated at the obnoxious screaming/crying- and then she motioned for Christopher to move the double stroller (that he had to strap charlie into) forward, and I saw her rest her hand on the handle bar.

Thank you, lady, for not being aggravated with the overwhelmed mother of three who struggled to keep it together in the frozen atmosphere of what should have been personally warm and cheery, and instead helping me out.

I excused myself then, behind the crowds, to where the baby could scream her head off all she wanted (which she continued to do all through the night, keeping me from getting any decent sleep- a sour stomach was the cause), without disturbing anyone trying to watch the show. I watched Christopher go back and forth with Charlie- in the stroller, out of the stroller, holding him, putting him down- and I watched that Angel of a lady whos hand rested on the double stroller, helping my husband out, and babysitting my bouncy 4 year old out of the corner of her eye.

I didn't see a single float, this year. I didn't get to sing any Christmas carols. I didn't get to hold my husbands hand, or sip on hot chocolate. The parade for me, was absolutely exhausting, and I can honestly say that I hated it.

But for Eleanore- the parade was everything. And these days, nothing fun is ever about her. So I'd say that it was well worth it. I'd do it again in a jingle bell rock.

And gosh I hate that fur lined hat.

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