Originally published on this blog on October 17, 2007, this is my post for the first #ThrowbackThursday Link Party which asks bloggers to post a blog post that is more than 30 days old. Go check it out!
When I was a little girl, my mother would take us to all the parades in town. My mom didn’t drive so we’d all walk together, all seven of us kids and our mom. Downtown was about two miles away but we didn’t mind because we all loved parades. Sometimes there were programs at the civic auditorium after the parade. Those programs were always even more fun than the parades plus we’d get to sit down instead of having to stand up out in the cold.
One of my favorites was the Christmas parade. It was the longest and the most fun and Santa Claus always gave out candy at the end of the parade. After the parade, my family would go to the civic auditorium for the show they always put on after the parade. There was music and little skits and at the end we got presents. My mom would get tickets for the show and the presents ahead of time. My dad didn’t make a lot of money working at the cannery and there were nine of us so we got to be one of the families that got to go to the special program and get the presents.
What was it about parades that made me eager to go? I think it was mostly because it seemed to me that everyone was happy at the parades and I liked to be around happy people. There were clowns, too. I loved clowns and balloons and crowds. Sometimes, if my mom had extra money, we might get a treat to share. Usually, if we did get a treat, it was popcorn or caramel corn. She’d get two of whatever she could afford and we’d all share.
Another thing I liked about parades was the music. I loved to hear the bands coming down the street and leaving, going away from us. But the one thing I didn’t like about parades was also the music. When the bands were right in front of us, the big round drums that the boys carried in front of them, hanging from their backs, those drums made loud booming sounds and when they boomed, the boom was in my stomach. It made me feel like my stomach was the drum and someone was beating on my stomach. It made me want to cry. I remember I’d try to hide behind my mother when the drums got close enough for my stomach to boom. My sisters would cover their ears but that wouldn’t help me. It wasn’t my ears that were booming. I couldn’t explain to my mother why I didn’t like it when the bands got right in front of us. She couldn’t understand why covering my ears didn’t make me feel better.
I wish there were still parades in towns where everyone could go and see each other and eat popcorn and caramel corn and watch the bands go by and the clowns and balloons. If there were, I could just walk toward the back of the crowds when those great big booms came to my stomach. That just might help enough.