Last night, at the 65th Annual Vienna Halloween Parade, I laughed harder than I have in recent memory. I mean really laughed, with my whole body, almost so I couldn’t breathe.
Why? Two reasons.
One, I was with my daughter, who, as a friend put it, “has personality to spare”. At 19 months, our 30 pound Ladybug never stops moving and oozes joy.
Bug wanted “more” of the Vienna Police Officers on their motorcycles to start the parade; she laughed at the Washington Nationals’ presidential mascots as they came right up to her face; she wanted “up” to grab the purple balloons held by dancers from Cuppett Performing Arts Center. The piece de resistance? Running to join the crowd of “costumed kids” walking in the parade, me trailing behind – laughing – as people laughed at her silly flamingo costume, complete with plush belly that she thrust out as she waddled down Maple Avenue. The crowd around us also gasped as I grabbed Bug from running into the parade, near trucks pulling floats, commenting that “she just didn’t stop moving”.
Two, we were joined by a friend, Lexi, who lives in nearby Arlington and who marveled at said “personality to spare”. Lexi could not believe how Bug jumped, ran, clapped and laughed at everything at the parade. Lexi and the people around us couldn’t get over our little daughter’s energy and true zeal for what was happening. It’s not that I wanted to show off my daughter – I wanted to share the joy that is being with her. Having Lexi and even others there to witness what a character she is really made my night. Too often I feel that we’re just me and Drew, taking care of Bug, without opportunities to really share our joy and our love for her with others in this busy, busy life.
I actually had a jammed pack day with work yesterday and ran nearly straight from the Metro to the parade, without time to breathe. But when we got home from the parade it was only then I began to remember that part of my day. The events of the parade had me so focused and present, it wiped everything else clean. It took me a long time to get to sleep last night. I was smiling in bed, replaying her jumping around and taking my hands to dance to the tunes of the Redskins Marching Band.
If you want to find Halloween joy this weekend, here are two events I know of (one actually this afternoon):
- Thursday, October 27, afternoon. Halloween Fun with East Meets West Yoga Center. Kids can come in their costumes if they’d like, to do the Monster Boogie, Spooky Pokey and move skeleton bones. Come for lots of fun filled activities during this special Halloween themed class. Register for the 3:45-4:15 class for kids ages 3-5 OR the 4:30-5:15 class for kids ages 6-11. There is also a 45 minute Mixed Level Hatha practice during the kids’ 4:30 class, for parents!
- Sunday, October 30, 11:00am – 3:00pm. Kidsfest at the George Washington University, DC. Kidsfest is a free Halloween Festival for kids and families, hosted by GW. Celebrate Halloween in a safe environment with activity booths, where kids can play games and complete arts and crafts projects; walk a trick-or-treating route through a Residence Hall; and visit a Witch’s Kitchen. Costumes are encouraged but not required. In the Hippodrome on the 5th floor of the Marvin Center at 800 21st NW, Washington, DC. (And if you want to do more cool stuff nearby downtown after, though not Halloween related, check out the latest family-friendly exhibit, Family: the Little Red House on the Potomac, at the House of Sweden in Georgetown.)
Don’t be a Halloween-ey!