We hit the Milwaukee Christmas (oops Holiday) Parade today. This planning started back in mid-October when my two nieces hit me up about it. Apparently the childhood memories got to them and they felt the need to go. In the past we've had a good time watching the parade and have weathered rain, snow, very cold temperatures and as I can recall one year where it was 50 some degrees and we were all in sweatshirts. Yesterday when I heard how cold it was going to be I tried pulling a fast one and offered hot chocolate, chairs and our living room to watch the parade. This did not go over well. By 6pm last night the plan to go was in action.
The must haves at the parade are doughnuts (real, not Dunkin or Honey dip) and hot chocolate. There was no way I was getting up at 7am to secure the doughnuts. I was always in charge of the hot chocolate. Upon rising this morning A went off to Walgreen's for tape for the video camera. He arrived home with doughnuts. "gotta have em" were his words. I boiled the water, dug out the awesome air pot thermos and made the hot chocolate. Everyone arrived on schedule and off we went. We met my grandson Dylan and my son's girlfriend on 3rd and State and staked our claim. I then discovered that the hot chocolate was still sitting on the kitchen table. Starbucks was visited and all was well.
A lot of interesting things go on while waiting for the parade. Santa was spotted. As I pointed this out Dylan looked a little sheepish. I saw him say something to Laura and then he climbed in my lap and proceeded to tell me very secretly that he didn't think Santa was real. I was crushed. My baby was all grown up. What was I thinking? A boy that goes out and kicks butt in football is not going to huddle up with the guys and tell them what he wanted Santa to bring him this year. I give him credit for not yelling it out. He wasn't sure if the 15 & 17 year old still might believe. It was now up to me to explain this. I thought back to when I found out and tried to remember how my parents covered this all up. I'm trying to act fast on this one when all of a sudden he says " I can't believe you guys lied to me for 7 years". My comeback " no 8 years". "Grandma when I was 1 I didn't know what the heck was going on". "Did you guys really think that I wouldn't figure out that there is no way a 300 lb. man is going to fit down a chimney"
I did my best. I explained that there really was a Santa although refereed to as St. Nick, and he really did bring gifts to children. The story just grew from there. I remember my parents saying that Santa is the magic of Christmas and relayed that to him. We went through the list...tooth fairy-fake/ Easter Bunny-fake. Every costumed character that went past in the parade was a costume or real question and answer. And then Ronald McDonald appeared. I looked at Dylan and he looked a little puzzled. "I'm not quite sure on that one" he says. "I'm not real sure someone would dress up like that on purpose".