[Writing the Self #2]
As we stood over by the grain bins on the east side of town, my soccer teammates and I whined over the delay of the start of the parade. It was supposed to start at ten, and it was nearly ten-thirty by this point, and we were getting restless. Not surprising, for a bunch of ten-year-olds, but I’m sure the adults there didn’t appreciate the noise we were making. The head of the soccer committee – my Dad – told us to quiet down for the umpteenth time in the past half hour. He was trying to have a conversation with someone to figure out what the cause of the delay was. None of us really paid much attention to him, however, continuing to cause a ruckus among ourselves. We were excited. We were finally able to participate in the Canada Day parade, how could we not be? Suddenly, we heard a shout from the front of the line and the floats in front of us started moving. We all let out a cheer – it was finally starting!
Eventually, our float made it’s way to the front and we turned on to Grand Avenue, the main street of the parade. Almost out of nowhere, we were bombarded with the sights of red and white. Flags, clothes, decorations, streamers and so much more. It was all decorated to look “Canadian”. It was an incredible sight. Our float made its way down the road, and the audience standing along the road started clapping and making noise as we passed by. We laughed, waved back and, most importantly, threw candy at them. The kids – some young, some older than us – rushed onto the street to collect the scattered candy and to throw it into their bags for later. I knew exactly how they felt – candy truly is the greatest part of the parade, especially for a kid.
Our float eventually reached the end of the street, turned around the corner, and it was over. All of the Canada themed decorations were out of sight, though we could still hear the deafening sound of the cheers for the other floats that remained behind ours. As my teammates and I started cleaning up the float, I felt an intense pride that I had never felt before. I couldn’t place the reasoning behind it at the time, but it was definitely the pride of being Canadian. Never before had I experienced something like that – a celebration of Canada where I was one of the main focuses. It was exhilarating. I loved every single moment of it.
On that day, I truly felt like I was Canadian.