E went to her first parade up in Houghton Lake when she was just a few months old. She didn’t seem to register much except for the fire engines and the marching band, which had her screaming up a storm. Since then, she’s been to at least 5 more, which is (I guess) a testament to how much M and I love to watch people riding homemade floats and old guys waving from classic cars. Today, at 5 months, Baby m got to sit in the grass at the Moose Lodge and watch the Memorial Day parade go by. He didn’t catch any candy, but he did get a pretty green necklace to wear back to the cottage.
At past parades, E didn’t even notice the treats and prizes that the parade walkers were handing out. She was much more interested in the lights, costumes, and dogs dressed in clothes. But this morning, E got her first taste of the free-for-all grab-what-you-can derby-style parade experience. I asked her beforehand if she knew what a parade was, and she replied, “Yes. Candy in my bucket.” So I guess she knew what she was getting into. Thankfully, there was plenty to go around, and she was surrounded by her generous cousins and friends. She did not run into the road, and said “Thank you” whenever anybody gave her a treat. But afterwards, in the pack of candy-smeared rug-rats, she not only clung onto her bucket with white knuckles, but she tried grabbing what she could out of the nearest kid’s loot.
So what do we do about that? Next year, when Baby m is old enough to know better, we’ll be encouraging E to share, to hold his hand, to help him put candy in his bucket, to cover his ears when the fire engine comes by. It is a joy to watch her grow, and to experience life one parade at a time. When I asked her what her favorite part was, I expected her to say “Candy,” but she didn’t. True to form, her favorite part of the parade was the ambulance, pronounced “a baliance”…for now, that is.