“Tell me what it is!”
“You have to take a bite to get another hint.” My four-year-old shoves a piece of chicken into his mouth.”
“What is it?” he mumbles.
“Swallow first so you don’t choke.” I can almost see his food falling down his throat like a cartoon character and nearly hear the gulp.
“It’s big and red.” My son bounces and squeals. My little girl beside him smiles, feeding off his excitement.
“I can’t take it anymore. What is it?” he asks.
“Finish your last bite.”
The final morsel is chewed and swallowed. Sometimes bribery is awesome.
“Daddy called and told me we are…going to be in…a parade!”
“Yay!” He smiles so wide his gums show.
“On a fire truck!”
He falls over in his chair in a mock faint. I laugh.
Two hours later we are sitting in the beast of a machine. One hour has been spent waiting and overheating but our excitement overshadows any possible complaints.
My son stands by the window hands full of candy ready to be thrown to children. My little girl bounces between my legs. The door opens and my husband sits behind the massive wheel.
kid squeals. It is a day of squeals.
The nonstop hum of the engine roars louder as we inch our way in line.
“Turn on the siren, Daddy!”
He does. The siren sings a song that echoes celebration of summer, family, and fireworks in place of the usual rush and worry.
My kid grins so wide it looks as though the corners of his mouth will touch his ear lobes.
“Look there are some kids. Ready to throw, buddy?”
“Yea!” His hand is full of fruit flavored candies. Their paper tips stick out between his dimpled fingers.
“Hi,” he says with a wave, then tosses the candy. They hit the door and fall to the black floor. I laugh. Baby laughs.
He does. Bright colored sugar makes it out the window. Kids go running for the pieces close to them. The fire truck rolls over the rest.
My husband hits the siren. Kids cover their ears in delight.
“I will do it next time ok, daddy?”
“Sure. Hit this button here when I tell you,” my husband explains. My son’s eyes light up.
“Now.” Kiddo listens better than ever. The siren shrieks. My son looks like the grasshopper from Pinocchio just sang him the song about wishing upon a star. His dream has come true, and you can see it in his eyes.
I can’t help myself. I push the button and let the siren sing of independence.
I know this will be a Fourth of July to remember forever.
What is your favorite Fourth of July memory? I would love to hear about it in the comment section below!