Today Emerson, Beckett, Ramona, and I went downtown to the bustling center of Jamestown to watch the annual Memorial Day parade. It’s almost painfully brief, but it’s small-town Jamestown at its best. Kids are allowed to ride on the volunteer fire department trucks if they want to, and the Jamestown Marching Band is the only band playing. Tractors, Girl and Boy Scout Troops, Veterans, and anyone else who wants to march take part. Emerson ran up and hugged the Cookie Monster, and both he and Beckett were given candy and small American flags to wave. When I say everybody, I mean everybody. The last car in the parade was a convertible with three muttonheads from Massachusetts who had attached themselves to the spectacle. They were shirtless, hooting and howling, and waved a 30-pack of Budweiser in triumph as they drove by. Then came a Porsche Cayenne with Connecticut plates, driven by Hedge Funders. Jamestown’s funny that way.
I envy my kids the childhood we’re giving them. They’ll have great memories, and know how children should be raised, unlike me, who’s learning by hook and by crook. Basically I try to do the exact opposite of what my parents did, and it seems to be working.