I looked around Saturday evening and noticed that just about every Brownie troop in town had chosen to dress as angels for the parade down Mill Avenue in Tempe that kicks off our holiday season. I felt badly for the woman who cut out 30 sets of cardboard wings for our troop.
The girls did look cute in their teeny white sheet togas and glittered wings draped with lights. The Daisies (Junior Brownies, which are Junior GIrl Scouts) were marching with the Brownies so Annabelle and Sophie were together, which seemed like a Kodak moment come to life — in theory.
“Oh look, a TRUE angel,” someone said, looking at Sophie. I shot them a decidedly non-angelic look, wishing I’d dared to put on the devil horns hanging around the house from a couple Halloweens back. I’d wimped out and put on wings and a halo, like the other moms. At that point, I wasn’t sure Sophie would even make it to the start of the parade.
She had already ripped off her belt, refused to wear the halo (it WAS itchy, I have to admit) and someone had tied her wings on upside down. I was afraid to take them off to fix them, fearing she’d never let me put them back on.
That parade is a pain in the ass. You stand around for 2 hours (if you’re dumb enough to get there on time, and don’t get me started on the braindead move of volunteering to haul the juice boxes down there.) The first thing one friend said to me — from beneath arched eyebrows and between clenched lips — was, “I don’t think we’ll be doing this next year!”
I don’t know about her, but by the time we’d tossed out the last of our candy and Sophie had settled into the back of a little red wagon to be pulled back to the staging area, I was ready to sign up again.
Annabelle loved dressing up and marching and waving and handing out candy. I knew she would; she did last year. Sophie I wasn’t so sure about. As we finally approached the beginning of the parade, I reached into my bag and pulled out a miniature Hershey bar and handed it to my motley angel.
“Here,” I said, giving her a little push, unsure of what would happen. “Go give this to that little boy on the sidewalk and say, `Happy holidays!'”
And from that moment, Sophie was on a mission. The kid had the time of her life. “More candy! More candy!” she demanded, slowing the parade to practically a halt as she spread her holiday cheer methodically. Several people called out her name — including a few I don’t know, I have no idea where Sophie knows them from — and she smiled and waved.
The highlight was reaching Daddy, who caught the moment on videotape. Sophie took her job seriously, as you can see in the little movie he’s already made. She held my hand when I told her to, never strayed or talked back, didn’t rip off the rest of her costume, as she’d threatened before the parade started. She was performing.
No shrinking violet, my younger daughter.
Yeah, I’m in for next year. As long as we can come up with more original costumes. What’s wrong with Christmas devils?