To the Beat of Their Drum

On Saturday morning, as the sun filtered through the eastward blinds, Chup and I had a planning session in bed.

"I'd like to fix the sprinklers today," he started.

"I've got to go out and get some errands done," I calculated.

"It'd be good if I worked on the Green Room project," he added.

"Oh, I told Jay and Kelly we'd have lunch with them at twelve thirty at Slab," I announced.

Then a little voice from down the hall,


I got up to let the boy out of his room, he dashed out like a bull at the rodeo, down the hall for his ritual morning snuggle with dad. I checked my phone to see Lucy had sent me a text about the annual Children's Parade in downtown Provo.

No. I thought. No way. I can't do a children's parade today in the middle of all this.

But, maybe? Maybe?

"Lucy just asked if we'd like to go to the Children's Parade today," I said to Chup sliding back in bed, waiting to see his reaction to decide on mine.

"I don't know..." he hesitated.

"Parade? I want the parade!" The Chief sprung out of his snuggled hold. "PARADE!"

Then we had no choice.

So we pulled out the children's Fourth of July outfits including the cowboy hat we bought for The Chief when he was a newborn--hoping someday he'd love it as much as we did--and made sure it fit. We rounded up the motorcycle, stroller, patriotic pinwheel, water bottle and sunglasses. Packed, secured and slapped in the back of the car, we were ready to go.

Having never participated in the Children's Parade we arrived in a shade of naivety. It was a serenade to our senses. There were streamers and balloons, beaded costumes and bedazzled Big Wheels. There were clowns and dogs and tiny motorized golf carts that puttered up and down the starting line. Two bands warmed up on either side of us, the drum lines echoing off the nearby mountain range. Toddlers in flashy wagons, babies in glittered strollers and even a miniature pony with an even more miniature rider atop. It was fantastic.

When the parade began we found ourselves at the end, slightly before the Provo High Marching band and the rounding up police car. The Chief was astonished, he couldn't ride his push motorcycle (at which he is proficient) and take it all in at once. It was early in our march when his transportation was totally abandoned. Instead he trailed along the parade route, waving at the happy spectators and pointing out the ridiculous fellow paraders. And we laughed all the way to town.

Mid-way through the march Chup yells to me,


It was true, there was an element of glory to it all. Marching down Center Street with our posterity, decked in our national colors and keeping to the beat of my old Alma mater's fight song. And to think we were about to have a day of work. I started to wonder how many good times I had traded for a victorious task list.

After we had completed the route there were Popsicles and socializing downtown. With their faces red from the heat of the day, we whisked them off to meet up with our long lost friends for lunch. A couple slices of cheese pizza and a shared lemonade later, they were both ready for home.

There was a little nap time, and some cleaning up to do. Then we were back in the car and over to another friend retreat--this one a barbeque with slip n slide and funnel cakes. When it was dark enough, sparklers were lit as well. It was the day of never-ending enjoyment. We partied until their bodies were limp. Until our bodies were limp.

And when we arrived home to our dark house, Chup and I each hoisting a sleepy body up the stairs, I realized: this is the new fun. It's no longer summer movie houses viewing the latest indie flick. It's not gorging out on sushi rolls and gossipy conversation. It's not even our old stand by: a motorcycle ride and the sunset.

It's whatever they want. That's the new fun.

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