Henry and Eleanor’s very first parade was not one we watched, but participated in. Andy’s work was a sponsor of a parade happening on the southside on Saturday, and we had the option of riding in it. I wasn’t sure how we would manage an outing that fell over naptime, but once Andy mentioned “VIP tent” I was all for it (because you know how I am about such things).
We arrived on Saturday and made a beeline for the tent to eat lunch before the festivities. The parade theme was “Honoring Hoosier Heroes” so we dined amongst various soldiers and cops.
We also dined with Miss Indiana USA and Miss Indiana Teen USA. And let me just say that a) apparently in the pageant world stripper shoes are the height of fashion (seriously, even the little girl pageant queens had Lucite heels on their little girl sandals) and b) call me an old fuddy-duddy, but puffy lip Restylane injections do not look good on TEENAGERS.
A golf cart ride transported us to our parade group, where we found our ride, a beautiful 1965 Buick convertible.
The convertible was driven by Tom, who was accompanied by his son Little Tom. Little Tom had just celebrated his 21st birthday the night before, and we commended him on his ability to be upright and speaking. I was happy we were matched with guys who were sarcastic and didn’t mind that we dropped two toddlers into the back seat of their pride and joy.
Even more fun than our car were the little Shriner cars that zipped around us. Henry and Eleanor were fired up to see Rowdie, the Indianapolis Indians mascot, who they chattered about and waved to until Ronald McDonald fell into place behind us and blocked their view. Then they became fascinated by the clown, who had a microphone and speaker and poked fun at the people we passed on the way to the start of the parade. “I can’t believe Ronald McDonald’s talking smack,” Andy remarked.
The parade began and we had a fun mile-long ride. It took Eleanor a while to warm up, but Henry was a pro at waving. He stuck his hand high in the air and waved to the crowd, giving the Miss Indianas a run for their money. Andy and I enjoyed seeing the crowd reaction. Any person over the age of 50 saw Henry and waved back with an “oh, isn’t that so cute” look on their face, watching our kids as we drove by. Any person under the age of 30 barely glanced at us before they started yelling at Ronald McDonald to give them free stuff.
We deemed the parade a success and came home to deal with kids who had not napped. Despite their fantastic behavior earlier in the day, their post-parade grouchiness level surely earned us some parenting purple hearts and a grand marshal seat in next year’s parade.