Saturday, March 11, 2023

Dreams down the road

Day 11 of 31 at TWT!
"A hat! Meemaw, look! I see a big hat!" Rainbow Girl has been quietly bundled in her seat, buried in a blanket, but now that the parade is finally approaching us, she's piping up with excited narration. 

"Do you think Daddy could wear that hat?" my mom replies.

"Noooo!!! That's a balloon hat, Meemaw!" she cackles from underneath the Nemo hat that used to belong to her big sister. 

I remember her sister a few years ago in that same hat, pointing out the same sights and sounds with the same cheerful observations. Now, Sis is somewhere up the road, clad in her Irish dance school's parade sweats, dancing down the street with her friends. 

"I hope I get a Cowtail!" Rainbow Girl declares, peering ahead for candy buckets and bags. The parade participants grin and giggle as they toss candy onto her lap: a little mountain of huddled blanket with an adorable head peeking out. 

"Are there gonna be the stilt walkers? Where's the stilt walkers?"

Suddenly, we hear the strains of Irish music and catch glimpses of green sweat jackets. "Look! Sis is coming! Let's look for Sis!"

Dancers bounce and glide back and forth across the street, scissoring this way and that in their "sevens" reel step. I remember seeing Sis learn her sevens back and forth across our living room when her classes were on Zoom, and now she's doing it down the same street where I walked with my Daisy friends and marched with my high school band.

It's almost dizzying to try to find Sweetie's blonde hair and pink mask in the sea of dancers weaving among each other. Finally, I spot her pink mask and blonde hair, eyes crinkled in her biggest smile as her pointed toes cross and hop. 

"Sis!!!! Sis!!!" we all yell, waving wildly.

Her eyes widen, she breaks free of her fellow dancers' hands, and she dashes over to us, blue eyes aglow with joy. She gives Rainbow Girl a big high five, just like she'd declared in the van that she wanted to, then scampers back into formation, blonde hair flying. 

"When I'm dancing in the parade, I'll come give you a high five!" she'd promised Rainbow Girl before we dropped her off at the parade starting area. We'd tried to explain that she might not be able to do that, but she made it happen!

Grabbing her friends' hands again and resuming her sevens, she cranes her neck around to keep gazing back at us, eyes still crinkled in that characteristic smile that I'm so known for. She looks ecstatic.

 The stilt performers come striding by, and we marvel at their coordination. "There they are!" Rainbow Girl squeals. Sis meets us back at our seats, and the last marching band plays "Hang on Sloopy," a song they both love. Rainbow Girl screeches with delight.

"I'm probably going to end up being in more parades than you, Mommy!" Sis declares afterwards, as Rainbow Girl clutches her little fist around the Cowtail candy she did indeed get. 

"That's true!" I smile, and whisper to Husband to swing by McDonald's like my parents always did for me. All those years of marching band in high school and college, but she's already performing at 7 years old! Aside from that year our Girl Scout troop walked, I was just watching parades at this age!

"Who wants Shamrock Shakes after the parade?" I turn to the back seat. 

"MEEEEE!" They both yell in chorus. "SHAMROCK SHAKES!" 

It'll be so much fun to see what dreams keep coming true down this road.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful family day - two very excited children, at the parade. Love how you wove in memories of your own dancing and marching, and your 7 year old's excitement at her first time.


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