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Tag Archive: parades

Oct 13

Watching the parade of life

“If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.”  Mike Ditka

People watching is one of my all-time favorite pursuits. It is just like watching a parade.

On a recent long and rather uninteresting road trip, my husband and I stopped at a diner where I got to watch a virtual smorgasbord of travelers. At last, I thought, something to do after miles and miles of nothing to see but tumbleweeds and an occasional hawk on a fence post.  I could watch people.

At first, what I observed caused me a bit of chagrin. Two families were simply too perfect. Picture perfect, in fact. They were traveling together and were dressed almost exactly alike.

The moms, in stylish jeans and trendy spike heels, carried no extra weight on their tall, slim frames. These perfect moms had perfectly gorgeous tri-color weaved hair and French manicures. They carried handbags that were “to die for”.

People watching was not working out as well as I planned because these two gals totally depressed me.

The dads were athletic, rugged, solid kind of guys.  They wore jeans and boots and each had a chic stubble of a beard that looked a lot like “Idol’s” Ryan Seacrest’s.

The perfectly appearing parents had perfect little cherubs that were dressed in clean, perfectly pressed outfits. The angelic children had clean hair and nails. There were no apparent spills on their clothing or on the table; in fact, there were no messes whatsoever. The children did not whine and were not unruly or loud.  The older ones helped the younger ones with their food and drink.

Theirs was a perfect world. I was getting more depressed. I wondered how these people could be so flawless.

Was I on another planet? Had we stopped at some strange world along the highway, a Twilight Zone perhaps?

When I was nearly convinced that I had found an obscure sect of humanity, a miracle occurred. My faith in children was instantly restored.

A perfectly groomed little boy, about 3 years old, sat safely strapped into a booster chair.  Then, oh so quietly so that mom and dad did not see, the little guy kicked off his shoes and slipped out of his seat restraints. He crept behind his dad’s chair and stood quietly behind his mom’s. There he stealthily removed her pricey designer handbag from the back of her chair and darted barefoot for the outside door.

Dad began chase. Utter chaos broke out as the other kids darted for the door, too. A chance to escape, perhaps? Drinks spilled. Food fell to the floor. The moms lost control, or maybe never had it at all.

I love watching parades.