Monday, July 07, 2008

Crowds Seven Deep

Another Fourth of July, another year that I can proudly proclaim: I survived the fireworks.

As some of you know, I am not a fan of fireworks. The big ones handled by professionals are great, even fantastic, but the little ones you light yourself? No thanks! I traced this fear to a childhood trauma: my 3rd grade teacher reading me the book Follow My Leader (about a boy who was blinded by fireworks and then gets a seeing-eye dog.) My brother-in-law set off a ridiculous amount of fireworks while I sat safely upstairs, hoping El Guille would be spared all his limbs.
"There goes another finger," I said to myself.

The day was saved by the lovely Quel, who invited us to wiggle-down to a place on Center Street to see the parade, thus restoring my faith in humanity (and the city.)
The parade always starts with a few guys in revolutionary gear who shoot their rifles/muskets/fire-sticks. This year, fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, and the synchronized highway patrol followed. Well. We might as well have gone home after that. As far as El Guille was concerned, the fire trucks were the end of the parade. Show’s over folks! The boy even got his first taste of cotton candy (gross) which he decided needed to be renamed, “It’s hair; hair candy.” (Grosser.) Nothing topped the flashing lights and sirens, not even the Salem City Princesses.
I’ve also been blessed with a runner: Proximo has started to book it when not physically attached to me. Tonight he actually said, “Ciao-ciao!” turned, and took off at full force to uncertain doom. Oh, how I’m looking forward to the next 2-3 years, when he tries to bolt from my side at every possible moment. Good times.
The Fourth of July always feels like a family reunion to me. I can take a walk downtown and see people I haven’t seen in years. I re-met Susan B. and her adorable boy. I watched a professor dressed as a banana shake his money maker. The coucilwoman and I exchanged waves and calls over the crowds. El Guille and I giggled over seeing Fui Vakapuna, and marveled over the Curious George balloon. I handed my mom a tissue to catch her tears when the dancers floated by doing a Chacarera. How I love a parade.

I can’t wait for next year.

Tomorrow: I got a package all the way from New Zealand and I can’t wait to show you what was inside!


Suki said...

Oh my gosh, I too read that book and have since suffered a tremendous fear of fireworks! You know, there is something to be said for those "fear" books- after reading the Sweet Valley High book about a girl who tried cocaine once and died because she had a heart condition she didn't know about, I vowed to never touch drugs. And thanks to "Follow My Leader", I have never lit a firework.

Likely said...

For crying out loud - is that El Guille??? I can't believe how light his hair has gotten! It must be sun-in and lemon juice.

sue-donym said...

Ahhh, the Callis porch. I should have gone. Instead I slept.

Did you see Raquel as a grape?

citymama1 said...

we're kindred spirits, you and I. I hate fireworks, too.

Ryan and Susie said...

We did the parade, skipped the fireworks this year. Instead, Ryan and I watched "John Adams" on TV while the kids slept through the whole thing. Lovely.

I love the hair candy. Good name for it.

AzĂșcar said...

I can't believe his hair either, the salon I take him to does a great job!

I guess perfect highlights are what happens if you spend all day outside playing in in the sun.

Quel did not go as a bunch of grapes--which was sad since her mother dressed in purple for solidarity. I did spy her urban farmstead, however, and it was a garden of delights.

I'm so glad that other people were traumatized by Follow My Leader!

We can't avoid the large fireworks, which is just as well, because I love them.

The babe slept straight through the show (Stadium of FIRE!) which is a July 4th Miracle.

Rynell said...

Baby sleeping through fireworks??? That is indeed a July 4th Miracle!

I'm still laughing about Proximo bolting and said "Ciao-ciao!"

more caffeine, please said...

I am with you on stupid fireworks and I am here to share your pain with a 1-1/2 year-old who needs to slow his roll before I just give up and let him be free... I had fun with Toad bolting away from me on Park City Main Street on the Fourth so I had to leave before I even got my friggin' caramel apple.

Fig said...

Perhaps it's El Guille, not you, from whom Proximo is bolting? I imagine there are only so many times you can get hit with a free weight before you decide enough's enough.

Kacy said...

Weird. Because I hate parades. You REALLY like it? Me no get.

Tiffany Twisted said...

I remember last year when I had sparklers, and I thought your OH would hemmorage when I handed one to Guille. :) Awesome!

Oh, and I gave him his first french fry too!!!

I'm a wonderful pseudo-god-parent.

camillion said...

We wnadered the parade route after the Freedom Run, and a woman begrudgingly offered me and my brood 1x2 sq. ft of grass for my boy to sit on... it was stingy, but I was grateful! Our patriotic sense in this valley is pure madness.

marshall p said...

oh, provo.