On the 7th day of our 25 Days of Christmas we went to Christmas on the River, a Parkville tradition! Brad had to work at the event since it is such a huge celebration that takes up the entire park and majority of Main Street. Tricia also happened to have to work that evening at her hostessing job in Parkville. So that just left me and Marshall to hang out at Christmas on the River.
Christmas on the River had a great array of things: street vendors, a blow up big screen playing ‘A Christmas Story’ (my favorite holiday movie), a children’s workshop, dickens carolers, dance performances, 1,000 person choir, sky lanterns (like in the movie Tangled), hayrides, Santa, fireworks, and more. Seriously, the whole town goes all out and it was a good time. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any pictures- with carrying 25 lb Marshall and his huge diaper bag my hands were a little full. There are pictures from when we got home at the bottom of this post though!
Marshall loved dancing and watching other kids dance at the children’s workshop, Radio Disney was the DJ. He didn’t so much love the reindeer antler headband one of the women put on him but that was no big deal. The sky lanterns, oh my goodness those were beautiful! Marshall was having a little bit of a difficult time, but once those went up in the air he was mesmerized and it made the wait worth it. After the lanterns we decided to walk back home and skip the fireworks, it was getting late and Marshall didn’t have any patience left.
It is now that I want to say that on the 7th day I learned just how blessed I am. This was Marshall and my first time going to a ‘family’ kind of event with just the two of us. In the past when these things have came up that Brad had to work I either had one of my sisters go with me or I just stayed home and said ‘next time’. Well today I was determined to brave the big crowds and lines for the benefit of my son getting the total Christmas season experience. It was hard both physically and emotionally. I was already a bit bogged down by my winter jacket and on top of that had to carry Marshall, he refused to walk due to being scared of all the strangers around us, and Marshall’s big diaper bag. I over dressed Marshall so I ended up having to carry his puffy jacket, and then he had a love/ hate relationship with his milk.
All of this happens and it is usually no big deal when I have another person to help, but when it’s all you it makes it a bit of a juggling act. Then there were police everywhere (it was mandatory that the entire force work) which is usually a great and fun thing for kids but for Marshall all he saw was the uniform. So he kept reaching out for each passing one crying out for his ‘Dada’. It was kind of sad, having all of these ‘whole’ families around and Marshall not getting that. There was also the added level of my youthful appearance (I am 23 after all) being alone with my toddler, I definitely had some cross looks from a few others as I was juggling things around or walking around talking to Marsh about everything we were seeing around us. At one point I fumbled the cap to Marshall’s bottle. There were hundreds of people around us and not one person took the half a second to pick up the lid. It’s not like I waited around for anyone to help but people were literally side stepping it and watching me try to bend down to grab the lid without dropping the bottle, bag, jacket, or Marsh. When I dropped Marshall’s jacket, due to being bumped into on our walk home, a nice woman stopped and grabbed it for me with a smile. She has no idea how grateful I was.
I guess my point is that this is the holiday season, we should all try to go the distance for our children and instead of judging others with their children, maybe be happy that that young mother is trying her best for her child. After all- it would have been much easier to just skip the entire thing. But I am also thankful that this event just now happened- when Marshall is almost 14 months old. I am so lucky to have the eager, involved husband that I do and sisters that always try to be there for me. I am also lucky to be married to a man that can’t always be there because he is busy keeping other safe, despite the low pay and long hours. He has a bachelors degree that could earn him much more than he does, but he is fulfilling a life long dream and doing a job that is thankless, just so he can make a difference to people he doesn’t even know. That is a man to be thankful for.
So let me get down from my soapbox and now get to some fun! Here are some pictures I took when we got home.
|Marshall fell asleep as soon as we got through the door|
|He LOVES the reindeer headband he got at the Radio Disney dance party|
|Trying to take off the antlers|
|All happy after the antlers are off. He much prefers to hold them.|
After Marshall’s nap, I turned off the lights and we just sat on the couch watching the Christmas lights twinkle. Him with his milk and I with my cocoa listening to Christmas music in the dark, it was very special and just an all around great moment.
|Marshall watching the Christmas lights|
|Just us watching the Christmas lights- I had to turn on the light since the flipped phone cam had no flash|
Day 7 brought a few different kinds of fun (and not as fun) Christmas moments. Both in the hustle and bustle of a city wide celebration and in the quiet comfort of our home. Mommy learned some lessons in not judging a book by it’s cover and how lucky she is to have dad in her life, and Marshall learned a little bit about patience. Yes, day 7 had it’s own brand of Christmas lessons in it- and they were very much appreciated.