My daughter Lainey is 5 years old, and I love her.
She enjoyed this past Patriots’ Day, until the parade showed up.
My wife pushed in the stroller, and I pulled Lainey in her wagon to Mass Ave for, which salutes
Crowds of families arrived around 2 p.m. and waited curbside for the festivities. Venders lugged grocery carts overstuffed with inflatable toys, horns and bubble-shooters. An ice-cream truck thrived in the hot sunshine, and Lainey enjoyed a popsicle. Two of friends passed by and squirmed with anticipation.
“Where is it?” a girl complained. “I can’t see the parade yet.”
“Don’t worry,” the mom smiled. “You’ll hear it first.”
Minutes later several fire engines arrived, with their sirens blaring. Tootsie-rolls sprinkled across the asphalt and Lainey un-cupped her ears and grabbed a few.
“Wave at every truck, Lainey,” I advised. “You never know who has !”
“Okay,” Lainey yelled, “but the sirens are so loud!”
Then came the first of the Revolutionary bands. A dozen or so Minutemen dressed in 1775 garb either waved flags, played flutes or drums, or carried muskets. Three Militiamen loaded their shots and aimed skyward.
“Hold your ears!” My wife yelled.
Smoke billowed through the air, and the band marched on.
“Are they done?” Lainey cried.
“For now,” I mumbled.
Lainey collected two lollipops and then heard more gunshots.
“Guns again?” Lainey pouted. “I don’t want to stay here one more minute!”
She grabbed her ears and complained to my wife, while I held Joey and the Aleppo Shriners raced motorcycles.
Crowd members applauded as another militia marched by. Lainey cried, and Joey fidgeted in my arms.
My wife nodded, and I put the baby in the stroller.
“Ryan, hurry,” my wife grinned. “Here comes another one.”
Shots echoed and smoke billowed in the distance.
Lainey screamed. I buckled Joey into the stroller.
“Follow me, Lainey!” I directed, exiting down Palmer Street.
“My sandal!” Lainey cried.
“They’re coming!” My wife yelled.
“Bring the shoe, Lainey! Run!” I called.
Lainey stared blankly, frozen in fear.
“Get in the wagon!” My wife yelled.
Tears rolled down Lainey’s face as she boarded the wagon and then rumbled along the craggy sidewalk.
“We just made it out of there!” I smiled.
Lainey sighed in relief.
Huzzah! One exciting parade! The boom of revolutionary gunfire reminded us of so bravely created, and restored our gratitude for peace.