Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

I’ve mentioned before that I love the neighborhood I live in, and Memorial Day is a good example of why. Every year, we have a Memorial Day parade in our neighborhood that the great majority of the neighborhood participates in. It’s a great way to kick off the summer.

It starts with everyone gathering at a single house in the neighborhood at 9am. For the next half hour (or until the fire trucks show up!), we hang out eating donuts and drinking juice or coffee – supplied by the babysitting co-op.

(Those donuts look good, don't they?)

Once the fire trucks arrive – and we know they’re coming because they call the owner of the house to let him know they’re on the way (or can’t come if there’s an emergency) – they line up in front of the house. This year, we had an old fashioned fire engine, three of the regular big ones, an EMT vehicle and the chief’s vehicle. There have never been that many (usually it’s just two or three total), so it was pretty cool to see this year.

(This one unfortunately broke down partway through the neighborhood, apparently due to overheating. However, it also gave Little Miss a chance to check it out more closely and see the wooden ladder they used to use to fight fires -- hmmm -- and the old fashioned fire extinguisher and ash can -- they weren't very optimistic back then, apparently!)

Once they’re all in place, they start up their lights and sirens and lead us all around the perimeter of the neighborhood before they head out to the village parade. Neither of the wee ones likes the siren, so they cover their ears, with periodic waves with one hand while the other continues to cover the ear. All the firemen are glad to do this for us and wave and greet us as they drive along.

Once they pass, everyone follows in their decorated bikes and trikes and wagons – or golf carts or go karts, depending on the age of the kids. This year, Mister Man rode his new bike and did a great job. Little Miss rode her trike and was a shocking rear to the parade. As fast as she goes when we go on our bike rides, I was really surprised that she wasn’t up near the front. She was far too busy looking at everyone and watching what they were doing to really pedal. By the time we were halfway through the neighborhood, we were lapped by some.

We actually stopped at our house, which is about three quarters of the way through the parade route, and switched up her trike for the wagon. Once she got into the wagon, she promptly laid down and put her feet up on the front, the true princess. All we needed were grapes and a fan to make the image complete.

We all hung out at the neighbors for awhile afterwards, just chatting. It’s such a rare opportunity and so nice to have this. This afternoon, I had some of the neighbors over for dinner, and it was a blast.

The kids ran from kiddie pool to kiddie pool to the bouncy houses (a neighbor brought over theirs so we had two) and back again. Let’s just say that neither of the wee ones made a peep once we laid them down! The food all turned out well, and we had plenty of it without there being so much that it will go to waste.

The best part for me though was seeing Mister Man playing with the kids who were about his age. Our kindergarten aged neighbor came over to join in the fun, a boy who’s going into kindergarten next year was there, and a girl in kindergarten this year all played together and interacted and had conversations and acted like five and six year olds will (which means a little out of bounds sometimes, of course).

Little Miss also had no difficulties finding a place to fit in, as usual. And apparently during dinner, she and the about to be kindergarten boy were making quite the googly eyes at each other. She’s cheating on her preschool boyfriend!

One part I missed, but which I wished I hadn’t was the exchange in the basement after dinner with my friends who just got married and the wee ones.

A: So who am I?
Little Miss: I don’t know. (She really has the coy act down pat at an early age; I'm in so much trouble.)
A: Well, do you know who that is (his new wife)?
Little Miss: Miss Married (apparently she sort of got it)
A: How about you, Mister Man. Who is she?
Mister Man: Mrs. R.
A: That’s right. And how did you know that?
Mister Man: Because she just got married.
A: Yep. Who did she get married to?
Mister Man: To you!
A: You got it. And what’s my name?
Mister Man: Mr. K (her maiden name)
J (his wife): Well, he’s got that one right, doesn’t he?

Here’s hoping you had as great a Memorial Day as I did, including the mojito granita I made (a real keeper and SO easy to make!) and the lack of rain although we were scheduled for huge thunderstorms all day. Thank you to whomever decided to have them hold off. I’ll even forgive you the low of 42 tonight and high of 56 tomorrow in exchange for the gorgeous day today!


Steph May 27, 2008 at 1:18 PM  

What a cool Neighborhood! We just drink in ours!!! LOL looks like fun was had by all.

Karen May 27, 2008 at 7:52 PM  

How fun that the kids get to ride after the parade - I'll bet they just love it!

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