Either The Dad and I have gotten better at preparing him for these events, or he's matured significantly in the last year, but The Boy had a much better attitude this year about the park festivities. He was excited to decorate and ride his bike in the parade, and he enjoyed seeing his friends. He happily participated in the games and races for his age group, and took not winning cheerfully. He even sat in Engine #69's cab and posed for a photograph:
The Dad and I hung out, chit-chatting with neighbors and friends. We all played on the playground, and went home around noon for lunch and regrouping. My neighbor said that she was going to take her brood out to lunch, and I decided to do the same. We had a hard time agreeing on a place (The Girl wanted McDonald's, The Boy wanted Golden Nugget), but we ended up at Chili's in Niles (sometimes you just want something easy and reliable, if not exactly stellar cuisine).
We spent the rest of the afternoon puttering around the house and napping. The Dad took The Boy to the fireworks in Skokie, and I let The Tot (who was despondent that The Dad left without him) and The Girl watch Cars on DVD before we read books and went to bed.