The parade we attended last week celebrating the 4th of July was full of fun floats, energetic bands, and many community organizations. The OTHER attraction besides the parade was watching the kids go crazy whenever candy was thrown. As may be the case at your 4th of July parade, candy is tossed out extremely often, so the crazy factor was high!

Our almost five year old daughter was well-positioned in a group of kids, some older, some younger than her. It was obvious that some of the older kids understood the candy-throwing-drill much better than she did. She was a little late each time anyone threw candy, so it was difficult for her to come up with any candy.

After a few groups paraded by, I noticed her sitting on the curb with her chest curled up to her knees and lower lip hanging out a mile. She was so SAD! We talked with her a bit about it and did our best to prepare her for retrieving candy from the next group in the parade. She did get a bit better at it, running to the front of the kids, or finding an open space, and politely raising her hand for candy. I appreciated her manners, but I could see that she was not yet ready for the hard-core competition for candy (and that’s fine by me)!

Occasionally another kid would start bawling after coming up empty-handed from the latest candy toss. It was so dramatic and comical to watch as sort of detached bystanders! Fortunately our daughter seemed to adjust as the parade went on. When I suggested it, she even shared a piece of her candy with a three-year-old girl, who was not in the candy-grabbing fray with the bigger kids whatsoever. A big smile spread over her face as she passed along a Tootsie Roll and all of us parents smiled in approval.

I’m sure next year she’ll be more prepared for candy at parades, but I sincerely hope to instill within her the joy of giving & sharing more than just the joy of receiving.

How was your 4th of July parade and celebration? I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend!