Last Friday my mom texted me to tell me about a holiday parade on Saturday in The Town of Parker where they live. Do your parents text? It’s an odd phenomenon because it combines tween “abbreve” talk with their parental tone. My mom is my favorite texter. She abbreves, presses enter after each line or thought and tries hard to incorporate acronyms though they’re usually misused. Best of all, she does not overuse exclamation points.
Don’t you want to hug her?
My first thought about the parade was, well. People. Parades have people, so that may not work. People plus holidays? No. I sound like a scrooge, but let’s be real. Children make up the magic of Christmas. Adults throw elbows to get to the Brave DVD on sale at Toys ‘R’ Us. Adults suck.
My second thought was, NORA. She would love a parade. I went online and read it was an equestrian-only parade and I can honestly say this discovery was the first time I’ve gotten that Christmas giddiness since I was a kid. Nora would give a kidney for a horse (probably because she doesn’t know what a kidney is). It’s all she talks about. Everything I’ve gotten her for Christmas is horse-related and it’s all I can do not to take her by the shoulders, scream I GOT YOU HORSEY TOYS FOR CHRISTMAS, squeal with her and bust out every gift. Actually, I may have done just that minus the gift revealing part but it was worth ruining a portion of the surprise for that smile of hers. I’ll do anything for it.
We saw Clydesdales, miniature ponies, stagecoaches, horse-drawn carriages and best of all, there was a petting zoo where Nora even got to ride a mini horse. Big shout out to those tolerant animals. I think goats would make good babysitters. Just hide your linens and put out lots of carrots.
Even with the crowds of human adults (dude who broke in front of us at the pony ride line, I will find you), it was one of our happiest days this year. It reminded me that while I could do this single-parenting thing without my parents, it would be an incredibly lonely experience. I can’t imagine not having them with me to watch her reach milestones, marvel at her social and cognitive maturity because they know she is the smartest, funniest, cutest kid in the world (my sister’s kids being the only exception – other parents drooling over your kids you might as well rip off your false bumper stickers). After raising two [smart, beautiful, funny, awesome] girls of their own, they now share in the vulnerability of raising a little girl as grandparents. They share in my fears, joy, and exhaustion of raising Nora. They are the head of my village, a warm, cozy place with patient farm animals, all-you-can-eat sugar cookies, blue-eyed ponies, and one incredibly free-spirited Nora whose happiness glues us together. Pardon the cliche, but it’s heaven on earth.