Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Season of Accumulation

 Zionsville Fall Festival weekend!
 Can you tell which boy wasn't feeling photogenic?

 Connor walked in the parade with his boy scout troop. He graciously handed out candy to his brothers.

Cooper modeled some of the goodies he acquired at the parade.

We spot our familiar place, a plot of sidewalk directly in front of the jeweler (the one with the tenderhearted owner that allows us frequent access to his restroom!).  The boys plop down folding chairs and snack bags.  They plunk down on their seats but could barely keep planted.  They are excited.  Within minutes the Fall Festival parade will cruise past.  

As seasoned spectators of the parade, they know what to expect...legions of cheerleaders, teams of police cars and fire trucks, and lots and LOTS of candy.

I know what to expect too...homemade high school floats draped in tissue paper, beauty queens perched on corvettes, a crew of costumed librarians dancing in unison, and lots and LOTS of stuff.  So much so, that I realize today marks the beginning of our season of accumulation.

Starting the weekend after Labor Day (always Fall Festival weekend), the boys begin to collect trinkets, doodads, and enough candy to ensure our dentist retires early.  At Fall Festival alone, each boy walks away from the parade with a plastic sack brimming with goodies/crap (depending on who you ask).

At parade day, the boys eagerly anticipate every float/group/vehicle that zooms past.  They sit in ready: hands outstretched clutching open plastic bags, eyes desperately searching for the man/woman carrying a plastic tub filled with, with.... well that's the fun.  They really don't know what he or she may be tossing to the crowds.  But the suspense and the thrill of the "hunt" is enough for them to desperately race towards whatever is launched their way.  Tissue packs from a local insurance agent.  Toothbrushes thanks to the dental office.  Stickers from the Presbyterian church.  All hunted and received with as much excitement as if they are gold coins. And when it's candy, it is as if manna is tossed from the sky.  No amount of exertion is too much in securing a coveted Tootsie Roll or Peppermint Lifesaver.

After the last float whizzes past and we arrive home, I snag the sacks and confiscate the candy (planting it high up in the pantry).  What's left over is returned to each boys.  They race up to their rooms and display their new finds (plastic frisbees, a handful of pencils, decorative bandaids).  Pretty soon, their rooms look less Pottery Barn Kids and more Hoarders.

And so it's begun.

Over the next several months, the accumulation continues.  Prize boxes from school.  Halloween bags loaded with candy.  Birthday goody bags.  Christmas stocking stuffers.

By the time January rolls around, things slowly go "missing."  

Funny how that happens.

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