A funny thing happened on the way to the parade

Another year, another St Patrick's Day, and this one was supposed to be extra special for Smiley. I'd forgotten to apply for a space in the disabled viewing area for the Dublin Parade, so I was looking for something else to do on the day. I actually enjoy the smaller parades, they're usually just as much fun, a lot less stressful and you can see everything, even without special viewing areas. So I got complacent, but more of that later.

In the hunt for a another parade, I asked on Facebook and the lovely Wholesome Ireland suggested Balbriggan, which sounded great, especially as it would give me another excuse for a walk by the beach. Then an unexpected email arrived from the wonderful Snowflakes Autism Support with an invitation to march in the Swords Parade with them. Obviously it was aimed at my son, but I cheekily asked if I could bring Smiley instead, and of course they said yes.

Meet us at the school, they said, so I thought I'd be clever and park in the retail park on the other side of the dual carriage way. That is until I saw the big "we will clamp you" sign. So I sighed and drove off towards Swords. The nice people at the barriers let me through and I pulled up outside the school and tried to turn in, until a worried looking official tapped on my window and informed me that this was just a dropping off point. Who was I going to drop off? Smiley? On her own? Obviously not, so I pulled away and drove on. And found myself on the parade route, following a police buggy, with NO WAY OFF.  Yes my mortification was complete as we cruised the entire length of the Swords Parade. We even got a few waves. Obviously I had planned this outing very badly indeed.

I dumped the car in a housing estate and there followed a very sweaty jog pushing Smiley in her buggy (remember she's over 8 stone) which nearly came to a faltering halt when I got stuck on the central reservation. Our adventure might have ended there, but for a kind samaritan who obviously spotted that my reserves were depleting rapidly and stood in front of the cars so we could cross. This really happened!

And yes, people, we made it! With five minutes to go, and wow it was absolutely one hundred per cent worth it and really the only reason to be cheerful that I need this week.  My daughter laughed and giggled and smiled the whole way down the parade route. I think she thought that everyone was there to see her. It really was one of the best days of her life.



Reasons to be Cheerful








38 comments:

  1. My nerves! As I kept reading I thought ye weren't going to make it! Absolutely GORGEOUS photos, Smiley obviously was the star! And fair play to your good samaritan, what a difference a small effort can make.

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    1. I didn't think I was either! I pictured me jogging down the parade route chasing the last float!

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  2. Oh what a rush but delighted you made it! Smiley looks SO chuffed! Love it! x

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  3. Ah, how lovely. What a great memory! She looks like she's having the time of her life!

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  4. Oh, her face speaks a thousand words! I can see why you only needed one reason this week, awesome x

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  5. I was meant to go the Swords parade with my neighbours but pulled out at the last minute because I was afraid I wouldn't find a parking space (and I was running late of course with 2 boys who didn't want to get dressed...). Smiley looks so happy, she obviously enjoyed the parade very much!

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    1. Yes parking spaces without fear of being clamped were certainly in short supply! I will research things better if I go again next year.

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  6. Ah she's brought a smile to my face too. Excellent green coat too, a very classy nod to the day, no silly hats needed!

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    1. No hats ever stay on her head, especially when she's happy, she just shakes them off :)

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  7. Ohh those pictures say it all, indeed she does look like she was made for that day. Glad it turned out well and you met a kind smaritan. Mich xx

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  8. Oh goodness that's so lovely! Have a little tear in my eye now :)

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  9. That has just brightened up my morning, so lovely :)

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  10. Lovely story, thank you. Made me giggle too.

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  11. Sometimes days like this are the best. I do a post a while back about a day going from bad to worse to horrendous. Just when we were about to give up we saw Josh giggle like we'd never seen before! It also makes it worth all the stress to see your kids face light up doesn't it?? She looks like she had an awesome time :)

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    1. It does! And so glad that your bad day got turned around too x

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  12. Well it will be a day that you do not forget in a hurry. I really want to say how very beautiful your girl looks in these photos - stunningly so

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  13. I cannot tell you how much I loved this. The laugh I got at your swords parade appearance and then the wonderful photos of Smiley. Brilliant.

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  14. Great day. You couldn't make it up. Lovely pics too !!

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  15. What an awesome story to tell. High drama, suspense and an extremely happy ending. Way to go. xx

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  16. Oh my goodness!! What a day! I'm sorry , I can imagine how stressful it was trying to get parking, but I'm giggling at the thoughts of you driving the route of the parade!! If only you'd known in advance, you could have decorated your car!!
    I adore the photos. The effort to get there was clearly VERY worth it :-) xx

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    1. I think I will decorate the car next year, just for the craic :) xx

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  17. oh dear sounds like the kind of thing that would happen to me! glad it all turned out right in the end and you both had fun

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  18. She has the BEST freaking smile. It was worth the sweaty jog and the embarrassment of following the police down the parade root. I just keep going back to that picture, she is so beautiful and happy. Of course all those people were there for her :)

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    1. I'd do (almost) anything for another smile :)

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