Monday, November 18, 2013

Before the parade passes by

That song has been playing in my head for days now. 

Do you know it? Barbra Streisand in Hello Dolly. 

Before the parade passes by
Before it goes on, and only I'm left
Before the parade passes by
I've gotta get in step while there's still time left
I'm ready to move out in front
Life without life has no reason or rhyme left
With the rest of them
With the best of them
I wanna hold my head up high
I need got a goal again
I need got a drive again
I wanna feel my heart coming alive again
Before the parade passes by...
Before the parade passes by
I've gotta go and taste Saturday's high life
Before the parade passes by
I've gotta get some life back into my life
I'm ready to move out in front
I've had enough of just passing by life
With the rest of them
With the best of them
I can hold my head up high
For I've got a goal again
I've got a drive again
I wanna feel my heart coming alive again
Before the parade passes by


My children love parades. When they hear the word they get excited. It doesn't matter what the holiday or occasion is....they love it. 

When I was growing up I had a Mayberry image of my parents home town. We would come to visit on weekends and holidays. Everyone seemed to know each other and they all had this connection. I was 25 when my parents moved back to retire. It wasn't a hard choice to move to the same town when my husband got out of the Marines. My daughter was only 18 months old and we wanted her to grow up with family.

I remember seeing this movie "Doc Hollywood" when I was younger. It was about a plastic surgeon stuck in a small town working off a fine with medical care. This town had a festival that everyone went to and all the towns people got very involved. That is what I thought I was moving to. In fact my whole life I thought that the town I live in right now was going to be just like that.

It wasn't. 

I didn't know anyone, I hadn't grown up here. In fact the only people I knew were my family. I have a horrible habit of seeing television or movies and assuming that my life will be JUST like them. I thought there would be a "Welcome to" party where the neighbors would bring pie and bring me into their circle. Of course I never told anyone this. But it was what I thinking in the back of my head. 

We moved to this small town in Northern California in 2007. Most of the time has been spent working and having babies. There really hasn't been a whole lot of time to look around and meet the folks here. Most connections have been made in the past few years from sports my kids participate in. When you sit and watch practice and games, you get to know the other parents. One day as we watched our children in a soccer camp another mom and I started to dream. There wasn't a parents club in our schools. That day we sat perplexed wondering why no parents had organized themselves to help raise money in our impoverished town. That was over a year ago. About three weeks ago we finally made it happen. We got other parents involved and formed a PTA. It wasn't easy, but we are all really excited about what we are going to do for our kids.

But that isn't what this post is about...this post is about a parade.

Apparently forming a PTA gives people the illusion that you are motivated and organized. So a mom friend sent me a message one night. The Chamber of Commerce in my town was going to shut their doors. They have organized the Parade of Lights for the past 18 years and this year it was going to be cancelled. The small business owners downtown depend on the holiday season. The parade brings the town right to their store fronts. So they started looking for someone to take it over and make it happen. My name was thrown in the hat.

 My children love this parade. Every year we make hot chocolate and bake cookies and camp out waiting for it. Could I let it just die? And, for years I had been telling my husband that I wanted to help with the parade. I wanted to try and expand it and get people excited. I wanted to make it like that movie I had stuck in my head. A night where the whole town comes and smiles and find community together. So here's my big chance. But the PTA is still in infancy and I just started a Daisy troop. There is school and homework and dance and laundry................But this is my big chance. And I only have three weeks now to make it happen. 

I'm terrified. I'm so so terrified. I have been making calls and juggling PTA and being a mom.

It's midnight and I know I should be in bed. Because I will not be able to get everything done unless I get up at 6am. Fish didn't do her reading this weekend. Butterfly is the Superstar of the week and I have to find pictures of her for the poster. I need to make at least 100 drop offs for sponsorship letters and fliers. My chiro appointment is at 9am. I have a meeting at 10am. The girls have dance out of town. I need to find time to change my sheets. And EAT. I seem to forget that somehow. The permit request needs to be turned in tomorrow. Did I mention I'm terrified?

The crazy thing is....in all this. I can feel my sparkle. There is this tiny voice inside telling me to just do it. At work this weekend a co-worker was so baffled by what I was doing. "Should ya know, OTHER people be doing this? Like ...why you?" With the look of confused distaste. I honestly don't have an answer for him. But I hope he comes to the parade to find out. I'm so scared that I'm going to let everyone down. Lets hope that will drive me to make it the best it's been....3 weeks left to pull it off. 


For I've got a goal again
I've got a drive again
I wanna feel my heart coming alive again
Before the parade passes by!!!!!