Saturday, July 9, 2011

look and listen

"Mom!"  I'm putting bagels out on a platter for our annual 4th of July party.  "MOM!"  The voice is louder, if that's even possible.  And excited. 

"Yes, Booder" I ask, without looking at him.  He stands at my hip until I look at him.  (Practice what you preach, right Mom?)  "Is today July?"  "Yes, today is July 4th."  He opens his mouth wide and raises his eyebrows into an extreme position.  "Is it the PARADE today?"  I smile.  "Yep!"  A loud roar of approval comes from his being and he disappears outside to tell Daddy. 

The parade is a big deal.  Lots of friends and family come to celebrate Independence Day with breakfast on the front porch, a great parade that passes our house with oodles of candy, and yes...loud cars and trucks, fire engines and emergency vehicles all blaring sirens and honking horns.   

When he was younger, I would try and give him doses of the excitement--let him taste a little here and there, because after all, who doesn't love a parade?  Isaac didn't.  And I had to accept that.  While all the kids were out jumping and shouting for candy, Isaac was content to sit away and just watch.  Cautious.  Which is a word that hardly exists in his vocabulary. 

Each year, he gets a bit more daring.  He sits on the curb, perched close to the action.  He covers his ears when things get too loud, but he stays put, watching the cars, listening to the sounds.  He gets a close view of the action, and sits to watch the entire hour long parade.  He is still cautious...but he is enjoying. 

There is a healthy amount of fear, but it's not keeping him from experiencing a wonderful tradition, and making a great memory.

Each year has become a celebration of more than just our nation's freedom--it's a celebration of Isaac's freedom to enjoy the experience, to look and listen...and come out of his shell a bit more.

Cue the fireworks.