WE LOVE MARDI GRAS!! This is hard for many friends and family to understand. Actually several don’t even understand why we are in NOLA, but that is a different blog for a different time. For this moment, we love Mardi Gras. We love the parades. We have been called “parade fanatics” and I guess you could say that is true. We love beads – although we could never get rid of all the ones that we have. We love the throws. For those not familiar with Mardi Gras language, throws are things such as stuffed animals, cups, candy, etc that the maskers (those riding on the floats) throw off the floats into the crowds. We love King Cake. We love the happiness and the fun that goes along with hundreds (or thousands depending on where you are parading) sitting on the side of the road waiting to catch beads. We love the marching bands. We love the music of Mardi Gras.
Several people have ask us how and why we would be willing to take our kids to a Mardi Gras parade. LIFE LESSONS!!! Is there alcohol, and are there drunk people at Mardi Gras? YES! Are there people dressed inappropriately at Mardi Gras parades? YES! However, if you pick your spots and parades wisely you can minimize the exposure to these things. Can Mardi Gras be family friendly? ABSOLUTELY! I have found that Mardi Gras has given me the opportunity to have very candid conversations with my daughters. We have discussed the appropriate way to dress. We have examples of dressing and modesty (or lack of modesty) that is not pleasing or honoring to the Lord. We have discussed actions that are and are not pleasing to the Lord. Indeed these conversations have made an impact. At one parade, Girl 1 looked at me and said “Mom, that girl’s shirt is not appropriate. She needs to put something else on.” YES! Or Girl 2 turned away from an inappropriately dressed woman and said “be careful little eyes what you see.” They recognize that these things do not honor the Lord. Of course, Girl 3 is much more verbal and confrontational about these things and is likely to just go tell them the errors of their ways. At this point we have a conversation about not judging others and showing the love of Jesus in a dark place.
We are the light. We are His light. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put in under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
I do want to protect my children, but I don’t want them to be ignorant of things that go on in our world. I want them to know how to respond in a way that honors God and why honoring Him is important. I want them to talk to me so that we can seek God’s way together. I want them to learn that His ways are right and true. I want them to see that the ways of the world are not His way. And I want them to do that with me. I want them to have the answers to the hard questions before they have to face those choices. And I want them to be the light in a dark world.
So, YES, we love Mardi Gras. Throw me sumthin’ mister!!!