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
and I can’t wait to show you what was inside! New Zealand