I happen to hate parades.
I think this aversion was born when I was around 10, living in Connecticut. My well-meaning parents woke us up at 3 a.m. and dragged us into the city for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Big floats, big music, big fun. Every child's dream, right?
More like this child's nightmare.
People pushed me. People shoved me. People swore at me. People spit on my green Converse All Stars.
I was tired. I got lost. Mom and dad were grumpy. I didn't even get a hot dog.
Needless to say, I've avoided parades like the plague ever since that day.
But now that I'm a mother, I feel the need to provide ample opportunities for my child to experience all that Salt Lake City has to offer while we still live here.
It just so happens that one of the biggest events of the year is a parade. The Days of '47 Parade, to be exact.
And lucky for us, I happen to work for the very company that sponsors it, which is really the only reason we decided to attend this year. Because you can bet your life savings I would never camp out overnight for a spot on the street.
I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised.
Despite being woken from her slumber and denied her usual breakfast of oatmeal and pears, Lola was quite taken with the whole event.
No one pushed her. No one shoved her. No one swore at her. To my knowledge, no one spit on her jellies. Well, I take that back. I'm pretty sure she drooled some chocolate Creamie all over them.
Thanks to Dad and Hollie, who braved the storm of children to grab a handful of the coveted free treats.
I'm fairly certain he walked away with a few bruises.
Aside from the Creamie, Lola stayed happy in the company of her "ba," her Cheetos, her baby buddies and of course, Grandma and Grandpa.
At the end of it all, I had a tuckered out little girl on my hands. But I daresay, it was worth it.
Because now when I refuse to take Lola to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when she's a bit older, I can show her these pictures as proof I've already done my duty.
Happy Pioneer Day.