Friday, June 4, 2010

The Fourth of July

The Fourth of July, that special day when we are most grateful for living in this fine country, no matter the politics, this remains a great place to be located. On the Fourth of July, our day started with a neighborhood parade where the local kids decorated their bikes, scooters, and wagons with the traditional red, white, and blue crepe paper and multi-layers of flags. Really, it was the parents who used their talents to intertwine those colorful strands in and out of the spokes. The parade, which actually started at our house, went around the neighborhood block and ended up at the Gourley's where the participants received ice cream and soda.

Peter's participation in this parade varied, as when he was young, he had no choice but to ride in the wagon. Following the years the Peter would have been considered a toddler, well beyond the "norm", Peter took up scooter riding, so his method of transportation in this patriotic parade became his scooter. I, always thinking Peter would follow the rules just as his siblings, thought this child would walk as the other children, moving slowly along, waving at those cheering on the sidelines, smiling and taking in the event as it unfolded down the tree strewn street. Wrong!!! Long before the parade began, he would sneak outside and remove my neatly placed star spangled bannered crepe paper and throw it away. Once he was in the parade, he made the decision to do the parade in typical Peter fashion. Never one to follow directions, but still wanting to be a part of the action, Peter, using his well built quadriceps, pushed that scooter full speed ahead, and completed the parade route within minutes, leaving the rest of paradees well behind. Was it that he wanted to be first in line for the ice cream that awaited the participants at the completion of the parade? Most likely not, Peter not being a big foodie really never had a concern about getting served first. Was it, because the "crowds" of twenty made him feel not think so. I can philosophize and ponder the why. I can reason and come up with answers. It really did not matter, if Peter was going to participate, he was going to do it quickly and expediently. And that's the way he liked it. Always happy to be a part and feeling quite accomplished that he finished.

Living in the area that we did, we never feared that Peter was in any danger. We know that the neighbors were keeping an eye on Peter until we arrived. The security of the neighborhood, the comfort of knowing the neighbors were taking charge until we caught up with the youngster allowed us to complete the parade with the rest of the gang. He remained safe at the Gourleys, awaiting our arrival.

Recently, I made the decision that we would be really good on the sidelines. The parade has increased twentyfold with motorized vehicles involved, firetrucks and ambulances, a plethora of decorated baby strollers, those on Rollerblades, and the usual and customary bikes and walkers. Handing Peter small flags and turning up the patriotic vibes on the CD player, we do well cheering on those in the parade. I know he is safe. And, if we are lucky...maybe we will score on some candy!!

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