Having had all the fun we could handle in Wisconsin, we headed to Indiana to visit Grammy and Grandpa Turek for the week of July 4th. Rural Indiana is no different than any other quiet area when it comes to the wonderful tradition of small town Independence Day parades. Even if there was no Henry, we would have targeted Hebron for their parade, but given that there is a giggling Hank running around our lives, we circled it on the calendar with a sharpie. Hebron always delivers a charming parade -- one heavy on fire engines (I know where Henry's bread is buttered).
After meeting up with Greg, Paula, and Sophia, we quickly staked out our spot and caught up a bit. As if celebrating the Rites of Spring, Sophia and Henry danced and laughed amidst blown bubbles while awaiting the start. I wondered what would happen when the parade began and the invariable gaggle of fire engines and ambulances led the march. Certain Henry would love it, I was also uncertain whether he would hustle over to each machine in the hopes of climbing it, or remain stoic as an oak in view of the glory rolling by. Would the plethora of tootsie rolls lure him into the street and tease his courage? How much running into the road would I have to do every 60 seconds?
It was a mixed bag in the end. When prodded and not staring down a red truck with flashing lights, he'd happily scoot out and bring back some tootsie rolls for our bag. When an enormous fire engine crawled by a mere 15 feet away, Henry remained anchored to my side, pointing up with joy and wonder. Those toys all over our carpeting do exist, and they exist in great numbers, and that make lots of noise, and they flash, and they are in front of me right now! For about ten minutes he studied the machines, pointed at everything, and remained rooted to his piece of the pavement. After the trucks finished, we moved into a more casual candy grabbing plan (along with a new found love of dum-dums thanks to Greg's unwrapping service).
By 11 am we were heading home, a mere 3 hours ahead of our appointed nap time. Henry promptly fell asleep and even snoozed another hour while parked in the garage at home. The boy had been to the top of the mountain and was just plain worn out.
He had a great time that afternoon at the barbeque, but one has to assume that it was all an undeniable second act after the glory of the trucks and persistent pointing.
More 4th of July photos here.