Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reigning on Her Parade

Bright and early this morning, our first grader started planning today's parade. First, she hand-drew an "American" flag, found a twig in the backyard, and brought them to me to staple together. Then she outfitted the wagon with a blanket and pillow, and when her little sister refused to hop in, a stuffed Snoopy and Strawberry Shortcake doll. Finally, she strung a whistle around her neck, strapped on a crown, leashed the dog, and asked for my support and participation.

Which is how I found myself alternately "halting" and "forward marching," as we circled the block in our own Sunday morning household parade.

Now, I know some gung-ho, down-on-the-floor, every-minute's-for-my-kids kind of moms. And I know others who aren't fans of early childhood and can't wait for their kids to reach some state of intellectual parity.

As for me, I'm somewhere on the spectrum closer to Down in the Dirt Making Mud Pies than Why Don't You Check and See if Jonny Next Door Can Play. But I'll plead guilty to "just a minute, honey" while I finish cleaning the kitchen, putting on mascara, and checking Facebook. And sometimes I just don't feel like playing with Polly Pockets. Again.

But I have enjoyed amazing moments recently when I wholeheartedly give myself over to my daughters' cockamamie schemes and projects. I'm trying more and more to gulp back my reflexive "Do we really need the double-decker fort?" and to not look at my watch when we're on a walk and the three-year-old is literally stopping to smell the roses. Every rose, in fact.

So when Eldest Daughter asked if today could be Parade Day, I smiled gamely and said, "Yes, dear, right after we go to Walgreen's and buy me some hair dye." While she assembled her float and "soldiers," I colored my greying tresses.

Soon we were marching behind our little patriot: the dog, the little sister, the dolls in the wagon and I, as she waved her homemade flag and blew her whistle. Someone recognized us (despite my newly darkened 'do) and hailed us from a passing car, putting a little mid-parade spring in the step of our drum major.

The best was when we reached home, though, and my daughter turned to me with unsuppressed pride and glee: "Mom, our parade was so much fun...and, so...successful!"

Worth it or what?


Heather P.C. said...

I can tell you that the main reason I supported my mom's decision to buy a wagon for the boys for Christmas two years ago was in anticipation of their "parade" years. Those years are upon us, and if they don't come up with the idea themselves sometime soon, I may have to suggest it. LOVE LOVE LOVE me a wagon parade!

me said...

Looking for the "LOVE" button.