We woke up long before the sun was up. We walked to the train station in the dark. We were joined by crowds of other families as we made our way up Manhattan’s west side. We walked for blocks and blocks trying to figure out which way to go to get to that place we could see right there. We talked to a few helpful policemen and made several calls to my sister. And when we finally found her and her friends on 69th and Central Park West, we sat and waited and waited and waited.

And then we stood and defended our ground against the crush of people. We watched the balloons and floats and bands pass by. We laughed at the briefcase drill team and the tap dancing Christmas trees. We passed water bottles and snacks from parents behind us to their kids standing on the front row. We snapped picture after picture after picture. We yelled “Happy Thanksgiving!” more times than I can count.

When the last float drove by and the red star balloons with “Believe” scripted across them were well down the road, we snapped a few more photos and caught the train home.

We had a good time. We decided it was worth doing. And then we crossed “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” off our NYC bucket list.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was practically perfect in every way. Which I am extremely thankful for, realizing that it could have been filled with tantrums and tiredness and stress and headaches, but instead it was filled with kindness and camaraderie and patience and things worth remembering.

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