I hate parades. The crowds, the standing around, the cheesy floats, the grandstanding politicians, the NOISE! Not to mention shutting down the section of town they are in, and causing traffic problems everywhere else. Ugh! I detest them.
My children, they are barely children at this point, are both in the marching band in their high school. This is one of the top marching bands in the state, they routinely win band competitions all over the state. This band is going to be playing in the Olympics next year. This band is run by an exceptionally good instructor, conductor, and all around person. The involvement with the band is an extremely positive factor in their lives.
Marching bands play in parades. Part and parcel of the whole gig.
Last Saturday was a parade in Wenatchee, WA where my kids were marching and competing against other bands. Wenatchee is just under two hours away from the house, a lot closer than some of the competitions. And apparently the "Apple Blossom Festival" (I think that is what it is called) is a pretty bigh deal in their world. It is also a farm town, and I like farm town folks.
So my wife (who has no issues with parades) and I jumped in the car and drove over the Cascades to attend. It was pretty neat to see the band marching and to be able to compare them to the other bands I saw. Unfortunately my daughter is having some issues with marching in the band uniform boots and her ankle gave out before they got to where we were watching so I missed her. But here is a picture, from my cell phone because I forgot the camera, of my son caryying the Washington State flag.
So it was good to go show them support. They both appreciated it. It wasn't all that bad and my wife and I had a quiet lunch together, just the two of us, on the way back. This is one of the little things we do to support our kids. Family is important.