Tweed has a Canada Day parade every year. Every year since Gabe was 3 we dressed the kids in Canada Day outfits and they walk in the parade. Some years I am more ambitious and make the kids matching Canada Day shorts, but not this year. This year I visited Old Navy and the Dollar Store for the kids outfits.
Every year I stand in the same place and wave at the kids, oh and take tons of pictures. Every year my kids (and Christopher) walk past with big proud looks on their faces, it really is beautiful. I can't imagine the day where my little ones are too big to do this. I think that will break my heart, even though I know that the day is coming.
I know that I am going to sound redundant, but I really love where I live. I'm sure that many other small towns are the same, but our little slice of heaven has the most amazing sense of community. That sense of community is abundant on Canada Day. Our Canada Day committee outdid themselves this year! There were free cotton candy or snow cones for the children who walked in the parade. There was a really nice lady who made free balloon animals for the kids. There were boat rides around the lake (more on this tomorrow). It was a real celebration.
I know that this may sound corny, but it felt magical. Everywhere we turned we saw people that we knew, friendly faces. Every few feet that we would walk we would come across someone that we had not seen in a while and have a lovely conversation. It took a while to make our way around, but it was really nice. We put in a full, amazing day, and then walked home for dinner. After dinner the kid's friends came over, and we loaded the van and headed back down to the park for the fireworks.
I sat at the park holding Elly on my lap. She was wrapped in a blanket and had nuzzled in. Christopher sat beside me, my Dad on the other side of me. We had set up a tarp with blankets on the top for the kids and their friends (complete with chocolate rice krispie squares and juice boxes), but the kids were all standing up a few feet away huddled together with my Mom for a better look. The music was loud, but not too loud, the fireworks were wonderful and plentiful. At one point I sat there watching my children, tears in my eyes. The girls were leaning on each other, enjoying everything about the snapshot in time. This I thought to myself, this is bliss. This is what life is about, and I'm not sure if it gets too much better than this! I pulled my last baby in a little closer and lived in that second, breathing in the moment.
When we got home from the park we went into the backyard and did sprinklers with the kids. Of course everyone spelled out their names and marveled at that the sparkling wonder. I fell asleep last night with that rare feeling of contentment. I drifted off to the sound of little girl's giggles and whispered conversations. Life is good. Happy Canada Day!