“Give me the remote, honey,” Will said to his young daughter. She did not hear him over the drowning noise of cartoons a foot from her face glaring off the television.
“Gracie…Gracie,” he said, sitting down on the couch.
She turned around.
“I said hand me the remote please.”
Her face fell. “Oh please daddy, don’t change it.”
“You’ve had all morning to watch cartoons. It’s time to turn on the parade,” he said, motioning for her to bring him the remote.
“The what?” she asked, crawling to him with the remote.
“The Thanksgiving day parade. It started a few minutes ago.” The television flickered through the channels and finally landed on the right station. Gracie looked at it curiously. “Daddy, what’s a parade?”
“What?” he said with a chuckle of disbelief.
She looked back at him. “What’s a parade? Is it fun to watch?”
Is it fun to watch?
His mind quickly raced to Thanksgiving’s passed. Did it matter if it was fun? It was part of Thanksgiving. As much a part of the holiday as turkey, or football, or leaves. It was tradition. Did it really matter if it was fun? It was the Thanksgiving day parade!
Looking at his daughter he tried to assess the best way to approach it. Listening to the two broadcasters talking about the lineup for the day’s events, he realized it wasn’t going to be easy.
“Come here, Gracie,” he said, pulling her up into his lap. “You don’t remember watching this last Thanksgiving?”
She shook her head.
“Okay, well…a parade is a bunch of people that get together on floats and they dress them up with neat stuff and they go down the street and…”
He could tell he had already lost her.
“Um…” He kept thinking, trying to figure out how to explain it and then finally it came. A wide smile of satisfaction came across his face.
“I know, Gracie. A parade is just like a cartoon. It has silly things in it and lots of colors and different characters. Sometimes it even has music or songs. But only it’s a cartoon that has real people in it.”
She looked at the screen and then back to him. “Will you watch it with me?”
He gave her a nice, big hug. “I certainly will.”