Below is a post I first put out in 2011. It seemed appropriate at a time of Thanksgiving and due to the fact that I’ve run out of things to say. YEAH RIGHT!
A dream. A dream I’ve had for most of my life. What would it be like to be in New York City on Thanksgiving to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Today, I know that answer. Taking the family to the parade was a dream come true, it just wasn’t quite the dream I expected. We often say we would like our kids to do more than we did, be more successful than us and hopefully, be able to live out some of our wildest expectations, through them. When I was a young child, even up to the time of being an adult, I often turned on the television bright and early Thanksgiving morning to watch Tom the Turkey stroll down Broadway. Seeing all those kids smile as the massive floats went by dreaming of what the Christmas season was going to bring, knowing full well that Santa Clause would wrap up the festivities on his way to Macy’s would cap off a memorable parade and start the season in grand scale. There will be many moments I will look back on as I grow older, but very few allow me to be a kid, and for a few hours this past Thanksgiving, I was allowed the luxury of being both kid and parent. I’m sure I came off just as pie-eyed as the many youngsters around me and, for a moment or two, felt I was the luckiest kid on earth because I was there. Visions of Miracle on 34th Street danced through my head as I watched the balloons march through Time’s Square, surrounded by some of the finest police officers in the world whose graciousness allowed a few homers from Tennessee the chance to revel the beginning of the holiday season. I never expected such a grand event. A random conversation in Tennessee turned into VIP seating with the NYPD in Times Square to see the greatest parade on earth. How could I be so lucky? I’m the luckiest kid in the world! Then I looked down and saw the eyes of my kids and wife glow as the parade they have always seen on TV came to life. At that moment, I knew what we had pulled off. I saw the years pass by in my daughters’ eyes, I saw the magic. A magic I wondered if it still existed due to the news of the world. I saw my youngest daughter stand next to other kids whose parents had witnessed the worst disaster in history and I realized we were somewhere special. This wasn’t the parade I had always envisioned. This was a different NYC, a kinder NYC. One that opened its arms and was proud to have us there alongside them to hope for a better life and a better year.
This was an event we had walked into and allowed to enjoy with families and people who had been through so much over the last decade. I’ve never felt safer at any time, and that’s when I get it. This is the happiest time of the year. This is when we come together and act humanely to each other and compassion becomes the norm for a small amount of time. I hope my kids came away from this experience with a better understanding of humanity, peace and love. Life is no different from the concept of believing in Santa Clause and that’s the lesson I hope they take away from our Thanksgiving in New York City. The final balloons stream by and they remind us of one word we should live by each and every day…Believe.
“Live Within Your Means, Travel Beyond Them”