Another Fourth of July...another neighborhood party, but this year the fourth brought both scandal and a triumph!
The Scandal...It started with a water truck that someone in the neighborhood used to squirt off all the kids. The water truck was able to squirt in many different directions. Although it mostly squirted the street in front of it, it also began to squirt a bounce house that was set up in a neighbor's yard. My mom, Grandma Otti, and I walked up to the side of the truck to take pictures of the girls. I was snapping away, when all of a sudden, a huge, fire-hose sized burst of water came out of OUR side of the truck, completely missing my mom and I, but pelting Grandma Otti right in the face. Now...trust me, you should never laugh when a ninety year old is blasted with water, but my mom and I had to bite our lips to keep from cracking up. Grandma Otti was fine...she had just been very...how do I say it nicely?...?....CHALLENGING that day. I won't get into any more detail, but I'll just say that it was almost as if God had decided to cool the old gal off. I know...I'm evil!
The triumph? My darling Gracie Girl, scooterin' queen, was still very reluctant to ride a bike without training wheels. While Miss Emma has been jetting around training wheel free for almost a year, Grace has been crashing and burning and giving up. It's hard to ride a bike when you get distracted and want to look at butterflies at the same time! Anyway, the highlight of our neighborhood party is the bike parade. All of the kids decorate their bikes and ride around the lower neighborhood cul-de-sac while one of the neighbors plays really loud, patriotic music. Very cheesy but SO MUCH FUN. Grace knew the day was coming, and she decided to practice her little heart out so that she could ride her bike without any assistance. She practiced and practiced, but the night before the fourth she was still riding into the patio furniture in the back yard. Gracie was getting discouraged, and even confided to Grandma Toni, "It's just too hard. I don't think I can do it!" Ever the fighter, Grace got up early with Jeff on the big day, and practiced all morning. When it came time for the parade, I must say that I was a bit nervous. Grace, however, was determined. We walked her bike down our hill to the parade, and she got on. I gave her a big push, and she was off. Not only did my girl stay on her bike, she was the LEADER of the bike parade! She had this focused look of concentration on her little face, and she just kept peddling'.
One day...two lessons learned.
Lesson #1: When you're feeling a little pissy, sometimes you need to COOL off.
Lesson #2: When the going gets tough, just keep peddling!
Life always has a lesson, whether you're six or ninety!