I didn’t want to follow through on my commitment when it came to being in this year’s holiday parade, though. It’s been a challenging year in our home, and one that has brought with it my partner’s stage 4 cancer diagnosis. After speaking with him about my resistance to participating in the fanfare, however, he convinced me to celebrate life in all the myriad of ways that we can right now.
So, our son ran, skipped and walked alongside nine of his friends, and peers, as they took in the bright lights and big sounds of our little town. Personally, I have been involved in my local community’s parades since I was about eleven years old. There can be a sense of pride that comes with feeling seen by one’s community while also representing a larger body of people.
I also find a deeper sense of connection, with my neighbors and many of the organizations around me here, when I engage in these types of activities.
So, this year, even though it was extremely challenging and I really would have preferred to just hide under a rock and let the storm of my life pass over, I gifted my son, as well as a group of his friends, with the values of Community, Pride and Engagement.
These are values that I hold dear, and that I wish for others to appreciate, enjoy and embody. Truly, in these dark times, now is the season to celebrate light and love.
We don’t give our child the story of a Santa who brings him lots of gifts every year.
Instead, we are teaching him how to create a life that will sustain, nurture and nourish him in the many years to come.
Each new year, my heart hurts to see discarded Xmas trees laying haphazardly on a neighborhood sidewalk, awaiting their fate as a trash truck makes its post-holiday rounds.
This symbol of warmth and goodness that is invited in to people’s homes is just tossed out, after a mere couple of weeks.
I can’t give my child this – it’s so unkind.