St. Patrick’s Day

Elmhurst, IL has to be home to the world’s longest St. Patrick’s Day parade. I swear every resident was either AT or IN the parade. But, if you eliminated every elected official from the parade, there was very little left. Well, except for what seemed like 1,000 Irish dancers, 1,000 bagpipes and of course the Armpit Orchestra. Proof.

But for this kid, it didn’t matter. The fire trucks, the school buses, the sirens, music and candy were enough. More than enough. He sat on that curb and never moved for an hour and a half.

And as the parade marched on he got more daring. He started smiling, didn’t cling to us and even learned the art of snatching candy.

And her, well she was just glad someone was holding her and she was a part of the action.

For a minute Saturday, I was back on Main Street in Bloomington, IL watching the Veteran’s Day parade with my dad and brother. My bag ready to go in eager anticipation of the candy that was thrown, bundled up in warm clothes and with a belly full of pancakes and grateful for a day off school.

And I have come full circle. We battled TRAFFIC that almost forced us to turn around but in the end it was worth it. Totally, completely worth it. I got to watch an almost two and half year experience his first parade. I listened as he told me over and over again, “They’re coming”

to the next car, truck, motorcycle or fire truck in the distance.

When I would stand he would tell me to “sit down and get ready”

I tried to get sentimental with my husband, who wouldn’t hear of it but I just kept thinking this moment is what life is all about. This moment with my kids, my husband, my family and friends, it is what defines life. Not the traffic jam or stress that occurs when your house is on the market. That moment when you realize his first parade is more than just an event. It is an experience and more importantly a memory that I am savoring, remembering and grateful for. He may not remember it but I will.

Until next year, Elmhurst