Thanksgiving reminds me of Charlie Brown and The Peanuts. It always will.
Nostalgia kicks in and I reminisce about watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with my Mom every year. All of the other kids would wait for Santa to show up at the grand finale. I patiently waited to see whether Snoopy or Charlie Brown would float up the parade route! For some reason they thrilled me. Ironically, I was never a Charlie Brown fan. He was painfully awkward. I always felt bad for him. I would cringe every time his bad luck would surface. Snoopy on the other hand was just silly and obnoxious enough to make me smile. As in life, most people gravitate towards the light-hearted souls.
Last year I took my son Logan to see the balloons being blown up on Thanksgiving Eve. It was the 90th anniversary of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and I wanted him to experience the excitement. Thanksgiving Eve is a big celebration in New York City. Thousands of people line up for hours to get a glimpse of the balloon prep. Approximately 3.5 million people line up to see the parade but only true die-hards brave the crowds the night before.
Logan has no real affection for the Peanuts gang. Neither the holiday specials nor the new Peanuts movie have resonated with him. He told me that it bothers him that “Charlie Brown doesn’t have any nice friends.” As we walked through the maze of balloons Logan heard that Snoopy wasn’t going to be in the parade. A new Charlie Brown balloon was going to make its debut instead. The balloon featured Charlie Brown tangled up in his kite string in his typical awkward fashion. Logan surprised me by noting “Snoopy is much cooler but I’m glad Charlie Brown is getting to be in the parade!” “Snoopy is a good friend to Charlie Brown and that’s why he’s so cool.” Remember what I said about The Peanuts not resonating with my son? Scratch that!
Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and gratitude. In a world full of bullies and seemingly never-ending ill-behaved adults I am especially grateful that my son “gets it!” Maybe the secret to an outstanding life is being Snoopy-like. Sticking by our friends and buoying those who need a little lift.
This year Snoopy will have his own float in the parade while Charlie Brown flies above him. A little role reversal for the Red Barron? This may be the year that Charlie Brown finally comes into his own! I am pulling for you Charlie Brown and I am happy to say that I know my son is too.