26 July 2012

Seventy-six Trombones . . .

This is the first (and only) parade reference I could think of. Although, in reality, I did not see any trombones. A few bagpipes, actually, but that was it. And a viking. Randomly.

Because, yes, the Doozer marched in his first parade.

Often, I tend to dwell on the more negative aspects of parenting. Which I suppose can get boring. And I’m sure raises the question, If you have so much to complain about, then why did you have those kids? Sometimes you’re presented with a good answer to this question. Other times, you don’t know exactly how to answer it.

Sure, there are frustrations, annoyances, disappointments. Mostly about how they’re taking over your life and pretty much just ruining everything. But then there are the opposite moments, where you forget you were anything but this person. And that just make you happy.

There was a great bit on a recent Louie, where Louis C.K. did a routine about straight men needing to be perceived as straight, to the point that straight males cannot even use the word “wonderful.” Well, I’m going to have to disagree. Because wonderful is really one of the best ways to describe the experience of watching your kid in action sometimes, watching them become their own little person.

If you can find that balance between frustration and joy, then you’re getting somewhere. That’s the sweet spot of parenthood. If you can look past their defiance and wildness and general obliviousness. It’s hard to sometimes. Or maybe that’s just me.

Because life is moments. Like a Cameron Crowe movie. A series of them, some funny, some heartbreaking, some just plain lovely. What is he babbling about? you’re probably wondering. Well, I’ll tell you. The Doozer marched in his first parade recently. And it was wonderful.

We marched alongside some fellow classmates from his preschool. The kid was given the task of carrying a bucket and handing out candy to parade watchers, along with another little girl from his class. The wife and I carried the banner touting the school’s name, at the front of the group. And as we all stood in the street, waiting for the parade to begin, we turned around to see our little Doozer standing alongside his fellow candy distributer and . . . they were holding hands.

And I think I almost started to cry. It was perhaps the most adorable, perfect moment I've experienced in a long time. And all the complaints about parenting just evaporated. At least temporarily.

We’d been concerned about how he’d handle his job. We had doubts. Because he started out asking repeatedly about the candy and if he could eat it. Which made us concerned that he would just try to keep it all to himself. But he didn’t. He just started running right up to strangers and handing out the little candies. He was focused. On task. And didn’t even notice then that he walked for miles.

At least I think it was miles.

But there was that moment. Watching him hold hands with that little girl. I seriously almost felt like crying. And not complaining anymore. I’m sure there'll be something any minute now. For now, I’ll enjoy the wonder of watching our little human do things like march in a parade.

Apologies to Louis. It was wonderful.

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