Surprise Float

“When’s the parade going to start? It’s so cold!” I exclaim, shifting from one foot to the other. Mommy and Daddy had made me get up really early this morning so that we could find a good spot to watch the parade, but we’ve been out here for hours and I’ve only seen other people showing up to watch the parade! I have not seen the parade start yet! Where is it? Is it late? Was it cancelled? Why isn’t it here yet? I want it to start now!

“It won’t be long now, honey, it’s going to start any minute now,” Mommy states calmly. How can she stand being in this cold for so long? How can she wait so long for something we’re not even sure will start soon? It had better start soon, or I’m going home! I’m not going to wait another minute for something that probably isn’t going to be fun after all.

“Oh, look Bob, is that it? Is that them coming around the corner?”

“It sure looks like it, Betty, I can’t tell from here.”

“But Daddy, you’re the tallest!”

“No I’m not, but you can help me there. Wanna get on my shoulders and see for yourself?”

“Yes!” Daddy helped me get on his shoulders. I haven’t been up here in months! I like being on Daddy’s shoulders, I can see so much more!

“Can you see them, Johnny?” I look to where Mommy is pointing, or at least try, I can’t see as much as I thought I would.

“No, I don’t see anything!”

“Try again, Johnny,” Mommy points again. I squint my eyes, trying to see what Mommy is pointing at. I think I see some people moving around down the street, but it looks like more people showing up for the parade.

“I can’t tell!! Ugh!! If it’s not them, we’re going home! We’ve been waiting for hours! It probably won’t be any fun anyway.”

“Johnny, we’re not going home until I say so. And you wanted to see the parade up close, well, here we are, no going back now.”

“Well, I didn’t know it was going to be cold!”

“Well your mother did, that’s why she packed your coat. Smart lady, isn’t she?” I glanced down at Mommy, she knew it was going to be cold? She smiled at me and Daddy.

“How did you know?”

She laughed, “It usually gets cold this time of year, Johnny.”

“What? But . . .”

“Sh, Johnny, I think I hear them coming!” I glanced at the road, was it really them? I could see some movement up ahead, and then I heard cheers.

“Yes, it is them, the parade is starting!” I shout. I can now see the first people on the street walking our way, followed by what Daddy called a float! I squint my eyes, trying to see better. “Daddy, why do they call it a float? It’s not floating, it’s just sitting on a truck!” Mommy and Daddy both laugh. Why do they do that? I really want to know!

“You’ll see,” was all Daddy said. I humphed, Why won’t they give me a straight answer? But I hear more cheers, more of the parade is coming. I grin, it’s a band! This is the main reason why I wanted to see the parade up close, to see the bands in action! I want to join one day, but I can’t think about that right now, the band is playing Jingle Bell Rock! I tap my fingers to the beat while the band does their number. This was so worth waiting for.

“OK, let’s go home,” I say when the band finishes.

“What? Oh no, we’re not going home just yet, there’s more to see.”

“But I only wanted to see the band!”

“Bands, Johnny, bands, there’s more than one in the parade,” Mommy tells me.

“There is?”

“Yes, you want to wait and see? They each do something different.” I think for a moment, but only a moment.

“Oh, OK, let’s see the other bands.”

“I figured you’d say that.”

“How did you know, Mommy?”

Mommy laughs again, “Because I know you pretty well, Johnny.”

“Oh look! Here comes Snoopy and Woodstock!” I look to where Daddy is pointing, sure enough, there are two balloons that look like Snoopy and Woodstock.

“Cool!” More balloons followed them of characters I’ve never seen before, and another band stopped to play their tune of Deck the Halls.

“Look Johnny, here comes a real float. See how it looks like it’s floating off the ground?”

“Yeah!” The float thingy came closer, it had a gingerbread house with characters from the Nutcracker running around it to get away from the Mouse King. Man, that guy’s creepy! But the Nutcracker defeats him, and the float continues on. More balloons fill up the gap between that float thingy and the next band, who plays Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. I really wish I could get in the street and dance with them! But too soon, they are done, and more balloons go past.

“Oh, Betty, is that it?” Mommy and I look to where Daddy is pointing, a really big float thingy is coming down the street, looking like it had just snowed.

“I think it is Bob, we’ll find out soon enough.” Mommy gives Daddy her excited grin.

“What’s so important about this float thingy?”

“It’s just a float, Johnny, and you’ll find out real soon.” I strain my eyes to see more of the float, but there’s nothing about it that seems important or special. I hear music starting, and it surprises me, I know that song!

“Mommy, Daddy, isn’t that White Christmas?” I exclaim. Mommy and Daddy laugh.

“That’s right, son. Why don’t we get a little closer?” We move closer to the float, and Uncle Phil and Aunt Judy come out!

“Uncle Phil, Aunt Judy!” I wave at them. They see us and wave back.

“Bob, Betty! Come on up and join us!” Uncle Phil waves us up.

Daddy laughs, “Alright, Phil, just this once.” All three of us get on the float, and I can’t help but be excited. We’re going to be in the parade! Mommy and Daddy start to sing White Christmas with Uncle Phil and Aunt Judy. I help out a bit, but I’m not as loud as they are. We stay with the float to the very end of the parade. That was a lot of fun! But next time, I want to see the whole parade from the sidewalk and see everything in it. Daddy only says, “We’ll see.”

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