Sunday, July 15, 2012

everyone deserves a parade on their birthday

Last year, following my niece Emily's bicycle accident, Eileen and I came up with the idea that we'd participate in her town's 4th of July parade with the theme of bicycle safety.  Seeing as it was summer and more people would be in the outdoors riding their bicycles, we wanted to get the important message across that when worn properly, helmets really do save lives. 


We expanded that theme to capture Henry's birthday, Heroes - a tribute to the people who protect us everyday, and Hershey kisses. We dubbed our float "The Other 4H."  



Everyone wore bicycle helmets and American flag potato sacks that had been turned in to capes. 


As we walked along the 1+ mile route, which was lined with several rows of people, we waved and threw out frozen Hershey kisses. Henry sat perched wearing his Happy Birthday hat and tried to smile. 

Woot! Woot! I'm having a blast!


Although you can't really tell by the looks on our children's faces, we had a great time. Especially since we were directly behind the high school marching band and directly in front of the ice cream truck that was handing out free samples. We couldn't have planned our placement any better. 


However, we were told by friends who watched the parade that it was a little confusing as to what, exactly, our theme was. So this year, we decided to participate in the parade again. But we focused our theme to Henry's 5th Birthday. 




Our placement this year was in front of the concrete truck and behind the Hulk Mania Machine. 


We congregated in a parking lot and had to wait more than an hour (in 90+ degree temperatures) to be released in to the lineup ... so that got a bit toasty.  



But the kids were soon too distracted to complain... 



Once we were started, Henry quickly got in to the swing of things. People would shout, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY HENRY!" and he'd yell back at them, "THANK YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!" and throw out handfuls of frozen Hershey Kisses. 


I've never been witness to so many people yelling out "Happy Birthday!" and launching in to song. 


This a tradition I'd love to keep up, because this is the stuff memories are made of. 



It's also how narcissists are possibly created ... 


But we're working hard to keep him humble.