Tuesday, November 12, 2013
That Time I Almost Cried at a Parade
So yesterday I had one of those really crazy days, the kind where I want to cry while it's happening but then end up laughing so hard with Hank while I'm retelling it. Here's what happened:
We've been a one car family for the past week or so because Hank's is broken and won't be fixed until next weekend. So most everyday I take him to work and pick him up again because if I don't, the boys and I are stuck at home. I usually try to get out and do something everyday, if not for their entertainment, for my own sanity. And because I had taken Hank to work that morning I definitely wanted to take advantage and do something. One of the best things about Henry's age is that he has a million of his own opinions and ideas, and when I ask him what he wants to do, he can totally give me input. And his one wish for the day? To get a cookie from our favorite coffee shop.
I thought I would make a fun morning out of it and walk around, collect leaves, and enjoy one of our last Autumn days before the cold weather sets in, so we got all packed up into the car and headed downtown. I specifically parked over by the library- much farther away from the coffee shop than necessary- so we could get a good walk in too. I had the stroller for the carseat to click into, and then the skateboard attachment for Henry. I also brought a wrap in case Charlie wanted to go that route.
We started walking towards the square and I noticed that there were a ton of people in military uniforms everywhere. It was Veterans Day, so it made sense, but the sheer number of them was curious...until I heard a marching band. Then I realized I had forgotten there was a parade! So fun. And what a perfect surprise for Henry. His Uncle Abe was a soldier and it's something we are very proud of, so I loved that we'd be able to take part in something honoring him. Our plans immediately changed and we began walking over to where the parade started, when I realized that we had a lot of time to kill. The thing with having a 12-week old though, is that at least in my case, things work best when they fit into particular blocks of time between naps and feedings. And having time to kill or changing plans isn't always conducive to having a successful outing. But whatever, there was a parade!
So because we had time before it began we went over to the coffeeshop and Henry got his cookie, and we sat for awhile. It was a beautiful day- leaves were falling off of the trees as we sat there, and the air was the perfect crisp November kind. Charlie had been sleeping soundly in his carseat, but towards the end he started getting a little fussy. I figured if we got moving again he would doze off, so Henry finished his cookie and we headed back down to the parade area. At this point I could go on with detail after detail but here's the gist of it, in one overly-dramatic sounding paragraph:
Downtown was packed with SO many people. And I have this stroller with one baby inside, and another baby on a skateboard that happens to be attached to it, that happens to be the biggest spectacle ever in our small town when we go anywhere (what IS that? did you make it? how is it on there? etc.) I'm wearing multiple, unnecessary layers. Charlie is crying so I'm getting super hot, and the parade is insanely loud with gunshots and the band and sirens. I need to take Charlie out of his carseat because he's crying, but then I'm unsure how I will be able to push the stroller and steer it safely with H on the skateboard, or push the stroller and have him walk next to me safely with so many people everywhere. I pull us over to a quieter corner, try to feed Charlie, try the wrap to no avail, so I just hold him, and he's good but every time a loud noise happens, he's scared and crying again. And to add to it, throughout the parade there are various moments of silence for fallen soldiers, and of course I want to be respectful for these brave men and women and honor them with silence, but I have a crying baby and have to keep moving. We're so, so far from the car thanks to my genius planning (haha), and every time I try to turn down a street we are blocked by the parade and can't cross. We must have walked around trying to get back to our car for no joke, close to 90 minutes. Towards the end Charlie had calmed down and all was well but for the time prior it was just one of those times I don't think I'll ever forget. Definitely earned my "take two kids out in a difficult situation while being totally stressed and trying to act like I'm not" Mom badge with that one.
But then you see my photos and it looks perfect right? It made Hank and I laugh because that's the funny part about the internet- you show what you want, share what you want. My time at the parade looks like a great day. And really, it was, in a "this will be funny later" kind of way, and I love that it at least opened up a conversation with Henry about what it means to be a Veteran like his Uncle, but I have to just laugh thinking about all of it.
So. That was my Monday. How was yours? ;)