This morning we pulled ourselves together to attend the Veteran’s Day parade.  It took some convincing before we could even start to get ready.  Philip heard “parade” and hollered “YEAH!!” for in his mind, parade=candy.  And Tess was just excited to “Go?!?”.  Max, however, was busy at “fishing” – putting beads that were bait onto a rigged up fishing line.  “i’ve only just started!  This is the really good bait!”  But we had a quick chat about Veteran’s and Veteran’s day.  He is very stuck on death at the moment, so to every comment i made he asked “Did they die?”  Only slightly disturbing and frustrating to hear it so often.

Anyway, after an angry phone call to Jac (away, busy at work) about missing keys and blaming him for losing them, we were off.  It was cold today, but with no wind and planty of sun.  Perfect for a parade.  we arrived with plenty of time and got a primo spot on a corner – very important as the snow drifts created by the plows were taller than Max and didn’t afford much in the way of viewing.  While there, we acquired the acquaintance of a nice old lady – Peggy – who was very helpful and cheerful.  I kick myself now for not being chattier … I was a little overwhelmed by my own tears, Tess’s preoccupation with the candy, Philip’s fear (over everything) and Max’s questions.

As if I needed any reason to cry at the moment.  Parades do it to me every time; I should have known better.  But today, with the vets and the unabashed patriotism and all, I was a blubbering mess.  The flags!  The bands!  The Native vets with their eagle plumes!  Too, too much.

Peggy, liking the children and seeing my messy state, fought off bigger kids and collected loads of candy, much to the pleasure of Tess.  Then, everyone around us joined in on the act and soon strangers were dumping handfuls of the stuff into the cupholders of the stroller and hopping up out of seats to scramble for it.  Feeling very beleagured, slightly embarrassed and extremely grateful, I just kept repeating, “Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you, so much!”  Like I was some poor street urchin receiving the kindness of strangers for the sake of my children.  Which brought more tears.  (On the other hand, as I watched the candy piling up and Tess becoming stickier and stickier, I could see in my head the piles of goodies we have from All Hallow’s Eve.  I wanted to scream “Halloween was just a week ago!  We’re good!”  Instead I cried.)

And I could’ve cried again tonight, though out of pride for my own children.  Lacey has been assistant director for Lead High’s fall play and tonight was the final show.  We badly wanted to be there, but our babysitting situation fell through.  At the last moment, we decided we would take the whole crew and I prayed like mad all the way up that 1. We’d make it on time. 2. Wouldn’t die in a horrible accident in Boulder Canyon.  3. I wouldn’t have to spend more than 1/2 of the show out in the lobby with crazy kids.  God does answer prayers!  We arrived safe and sound and got to sit with Nate – to the joy of the boys.  And though the play was a murder mystery (I know.  What was I thinking?), the kids were quiet and still and attentive through the WHOLE THING.  I was near bursting from pride and couldn’t get over it on the way home. 

So I go to bed appreciative tonight – for our veterans and my own fabulous children.  (remind me of this in the morning)