Monday, December 16, 2013

Seventeen years in and we spent it with the Chickenman

Saturday was our 17th wedding anniversary.  How did we celebrate?

In the most romantic of ways, at a cold, wet Christmas parade as Ben Jr. Jazzercised his way down the streets of Downtown Cary.  Given the forecast was for heavy rain starting near the time of the parade, we told Ben that we would decide if the weather was ok for him to march if it only misting, not a deluge of rain.

While not ideal, as it was a balmy 44 degrees it was just tolerable as for the hour we were outside it didn't really rain until the very end of the parade.  We parked ourselves near the end so I could quickly grab Ben and we could bolt if the rain became heavy.  I dressed Ian in layers, including too cute froggy boots.  Bill picked up hot chocolate and we settled in waiting for entry 14, Cary Jazzercise.  Ian was beside himself catching candy being thrown from the floats and groups.  Because we were at the end of the route, several of literally dumping bags of candy on the street.

A one point I yelled to a woman about to dump an entire basket of jolly ranchers at Ian's feet, please don't give him all that! She dumped it all anyway, much to Ian's delight.

Ben had a smile ear to ear as he made his way past.  He had been practicing in the kitchen nightly and I whispered in his ear when I dropped him off that he would do great and I was proud of him for performing in front of so many people.  Given the bad weather, only a 1/3 of the kids in his class were in the parade, so the kids joined the other Jazzercise ladies.  My friend mentioned to me the other day that she hoped Ben one day would appreciate that I openly encouraged him to explore interests, even if it involves jazz hands.

Bill and I had a hay day laughing at some of the parade entries.  Being from small town America, I was totally waiting for high school bands, a gazillion schools of dance with 9 year old girls with enough makeup to to make hookers blush, and all the churches trying to outdo each other with who can put up the best Baby Jesus.

What I wasn't expecting was "the Chickenman".  A two bit shill belting out Christmas tunes from the platform of a Jazzy wheelchair lift, attracted lovingly to the front of a Ford 150 pick up.  Or Puppypalooza, complete with two dogs.  Does "palooza" not denote like at least 10?  Or the church short bus that stopped in front of us for a good 5 minutes on a continuous loop of sing-songy music with puppets hanging out of the windows. Bill and I were punching each other laughing so, so hard.

We had dinner out, watched Polar Express with the kids by the fireplace.  Was it crazy romantic?  Nope, but after 17 years it more about taking one for the team, at a rainy Christmas parade watching our kid in a bright red Jazzercise shirt and keeping one from eating candy by the handful off the street. Best of all, we did it together.

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