on friday shoshi's grandma leslie texted me, "do you guys want to be in the parade with me tomorrow?" um, let's see: riding the holly jolly trolley and having thousands of people wave at you while dressed like an elf? i was such a shy kid that i probably would've had nightmares about this scenario, but for sho it was basically heaven on earth. throw in her cousin (second cousin? cousin once removed?) taylor, who is sho's hero, and the deal was sealed.
we were at the very end of the parade, right after santa and mrs claus. (quite thrilling for sho, i think. i've totally begun the SANTA indoctrination already. it's just such a fun concept...a fat man in a fur-lined red suit sliding down your chimney to pull a reverse b&e? count me in!) it was a beautiful day and we got to watch the marching band (each member wearing a santa hat) practice in the huge parking lot staging ground beforehand, along with hordes of interesting people and dogs and costumes everywhere you looked. there were giant polar bears (who gave sho a hug), an entire crew of gingerbread men, cinderella and tinkerbell (who gave sho a ring, which she breathlessly proclaimed "my beau-ful tweasure!"). also: grandma, dressed as an elf. "elf gwamma!" sho kept calling out. man, the concept of elves is almost as good as the whole santa thing. having read the polar express my entire childhood, i'll always envision the north pole as it is in that book, midnight snow falling silently in the great square as thousands of elves gather in droves to send santa off on his epic journey.
in spite of all the shenanigans, sho was strangely tired and grew more so during the long wait for us to join the parade. she cuddled up on my lap and rested, which does not happen every day. she rallied for a lollipop though, and waved enthusiastically at all the people lining the streets when we finally set off. unfortunately, the fire engine and police car that signified the end of the parade were right behind the ol' holly jolly trolley, and the marching band's enthusiastic rendition of "jingle bells" was frequently punctuated by the horrible, super-loud honking of the fire engine. shosh held strong at first, but after the fifth honk or so, she was done. she sat in my lap and sobbed loudly in the direction of the cheering crowds, before finally passing out, lollipop still clutched in her hand. she slept through me carrying her several blocks to the car, putting her in her car seat, the entire ride home, taking her out of her car seat, and putting her to bed. (this never happens.) that little dude was tuckered OUT!
it all made sense later that night, when she threw up all over the two of us. my poor little elf! that was her first experience throwing up, and directly afterward she asked confusedly, "what happen? what is that? what happen, mama?" i was thankful for approximately the eighteen thousandth time to live with my parents right now, because it really helps to have another adult around during any sickness involving bodily functions. (she is doing great today, and is spending the afternoon with elf gwamma herself.)
still, though. the parade was great fun, and i'm glad leslie asked us along. even though david aren't together, i will always be so thankful that i got his mom and step-dad out of the deal. sho's beloved gamma and kappa are a great part of my life too, for many many reasons, including (but not limited to) all-access holiday parade waving-elf opportunities.