This is my first Madison Monday post in a while, basically because I’ve become something of a reclusive shut-in. I’d blame it on the weather, but really, I’m just going through a phase where all in all, I’d rather be on my couch with the family than pretty much anywhere else.
But this Saturday our daughter was marching in the Christmas parade downtown. The weather the day before was, well, frightful. Freezing rain and sleet, followed by almost half a foot of snow. Temperatures dropped overnight and the parade was delayed from 10:00 in the morning until noon to allow the road crews to clear the streets.
My husband and I layered up to get ready and in my head, I was cursing everyone even marginally responsible for deciding to go on with a Christmas parade in 18 degree weather with a wind chill of 8. Oh, sure, in some places, that’s just another day in December. But it is abnormally cold for our part of the world. I was certain our daughter would return home missing several digits due to frostbite. Nonetheless, we suited up and headed out.
We were not the only ones lining the sidewalks to watch the parade. I don’t know what the crowd would be like in a normal year. Maybe all the other folks were relatives of the parade participants like us. All I know is that as the police cars hit their horns and started down the street, followed by the military color guard, I choked up.
Even under all those layers, I was cold. My daughter had been standing out there for an hour and a half waiting for the parade to start. There were people carrying banners with no one behind them, but they were still there. Children and teenagers walked along the route giving out candy to the little kids. A tiny boy next to us was very excited by a small, dancing Christmas tree someone had attached to the windshield of a convertible car. It was dinky and small and silly in all the ways a small town parade is. And I couldn’t stop crying.
I can’t say why for sure I got all weepy. There’s probably some hormonal imbalance involved. Or perhaps the cold. But maybe it’s just that the most amazing thing you can do sometimes is to show up when it’s really cold in a ridiculous elf outfit and do your best. At any rate, I’m glad I got up off the couch.