Saturday, September 3, 2011

Missing the Parade

It's Labor Day weekend. Three whole days to myself since the girl's at her dad's and the boy has entered adulthood and is now out on his own. They are both prominently in my heart this morning because of a parade. And I'm missing it.

This town is a zoo. Everyone with a vacation home is here for the weekend - as are droves of tourists and their grandmothers - for Pinedorado Days. The old-fashioned parade comprised of virtually everyone in town and their dogs made its way down Main Street approximately an hour-and-a-half ago. Silly little procession, really, but I've always loved it. So fun see your friends and acquaintances making complete fools of themselves (i.e. the dancing money bags from the local bank). I adore seeing the kids sitting atop floats and being pulled in wagons by their moms and dads, and marvel each year at how they've grown. This is good ole' Americana at its finest.

I could've gone on down there - crashed any one of groups of friends not actually in the parade who were no doubt lined along the parade route. But I needed to call a good friend who's going through her own personal hell, then do a little housecleaning. Maybe I'll take in a brisk walk later. I think this is the first Pinedorado parade I've missed in the 13 years we've lived here.

As I sit here avoiding housework and half-regretting my absence from the festivities, I realize it's not the parade itself that's getting to me - it's all it's come to symbolize over the years. I've treasured watching my children march down Main Street on this day with various groups they were involved in: Cub Scouts, cheerleading, junior high. We always viewed the festivities in all out hilarity with my then-husband's family, then trekked with the masses to the post-parade Pinedorado grounds where we lifted the kids high enough to toss coins into glasses for the coveted prize of a stuffed Spongebob Squarepants. Through the thick fog of time, even those "leaving the bounce house" tantrums find a place in my sentimental heart. All too much fun and no one wanted it to end.

My children cherish these memories as do I. Pinedorado has come to symbolize a happier time for all of us ... a time when our family was completely intact and all was safe and secure. But drastic circumstances have forced us all to change our very definition of family. As the three of us have discovered, all we need do is go down Main Street for the answer: This town, these people, this parade.

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