For the past several years our subdivision has made some very worthy attempts at neighborhood patrioticism. Excitement abounds as all the tiny neighbors gather red/white/blue ribbons and sparkly garland to decorate their transportation of choice for the Annual Bike Parade. Every mode of travel is represented. We have the traditional bicycle, of course, scooters, wagons, strollers, kids walking and even a little majorette. The parade is guided by our own Uncle Sam (who also happens to be my brother-in-law), holding his trusty iPod portable speaker loaded with patriotic tunes, preparing to lead the group down the street towards the neighborhood park where ice cream awaits.
Sounds picturesque, doesn’t it?
It actually is.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but my entire family lives in the same subdivision. Entirely. Mom and Dad. Twin brother and family. Older sister and family. All of us. In one neighborhood. Now, for some families this would be a recipe for disaster. I can only imagine the potential our little set-up has for destruction of horrendous proportions. But, strangely, it actually works for us. We have an “unspoken” respect for boundaries and for the last seven years have managed to live in a very cohesive peace. In fact, we all love our proximity so much that the idea of one of us actually moving out of the neighborhood makes us all a bit uneasy. We do “creepy commune family” really well.
The idea for a bike parade came up about 4 years ago and although we all thought it would be an awesome idea we also were uncertain as to how great the participation would be. So, tentatively, the time was scheduled and our First Annual Bike Parade was set into motion.
I remember helping Avery (who was an adorable 3 at the time) amble down the street on her little bike, dressed to the hilt in patriotic duds, approaching the designated starting point of the parade. I also remember thinking that there was a very real chance that the only kids actually participating in this bike parade would also happen to share some of my DNA. I rounded the corner into the cul-de-sac and was shocked at the explosion of red, white and blue gathered in the center. Everyone was there. It appeared that almost every neighbor kid had decided to join in and some had even invited friends. And, with a very familiar lump in the back of my throat that presents itself at even the most trivial of parades, I watched the neighborhood join in patriotic celebration.
And, today was no different. The rest of the evening will be spent enjoying BBQ and beer with friends and family and will end with a very impressive display of fireworks.
I am hoping that everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July spent with those you love. I also hope that everyone took a moment to appreciate this amazing country we have been blessed with and have remembered to thank those who have defended the cornerstone of our Nation: Freedom.
Happy Independence Day!