Sunday, February 03, 2008

This Olde Parade - The Family

These days, Cindy and I rarely do anything without the kids. And we try to do things that involve our extended family. And believe it or not, Mardi Gras on the Gulf Coast has a very big basis among families like ours. Again, it is much more low brow than any of the parades in New Orleans.

First picture is of Mommy & Daddy. Liam took it. We're happy on the inside even if we're not smiling. Bear in mind we're sober and having to watch four children.

Next up, picture of the kids talking to Homie & Bozo the clown. (I don't know which is which.) They were handing out stickers that said, "Smile, Jesus loves you!" (The tall kid is Liam's best friend, Thomas.) I don't think Christ loves clowns, though. In fact I think he went to a circus and stomped on their big flappy shoes. I don't think we had Jesus-Loving Clowns when I was a kid. In fact, I distinctly remember drunken old men dancing down the streets with large bouquets of would-be flowers, enticing kisses from unsuspecting women in exchange for their cheap paper flora.

In between floats, a picture of the krewe. Meg and Liam draped in layers of the beads each of them caught. Again, we've got Thomas on the right. And in the back is Alex, Cindy's youngest niece. She didn't have quite the volume of loot as the other kids. But I was holding an arm-full of goodies for her. She developed a rail-standing technique and the other kids quickly adopted it.

When one of the floats stopped (in this case a decorated school bus!) I snapped a picture of Alex and Meg. I think Meg has at least ten pounds of beads at this point. And Alex has secured a highly coveted Sponge Bob necklace. She was the envy of all the kids. And somehow, during the lull in the excitement, I think Brittany Spears snuck behind the rail. She broke out of her current asylum and made her way to MS, to flag down a black bus and offer them copies of her latest CD. At least that's what I saw!

Anyway, jealous that the girls were being photographed, the boys wanted their time in the spotlight. Liam and Thomas can barely stand upright. They're slouching forward from the weight of their treasures. Being slightly taller, Thomas has a decided reach advantage. But Liam's quicker and would easily snatch anything that hit the ground. They made a good team.

Finally, before we departed, Meg moved her stash into the orange bag, and I snapped a shot of Big Red (Darby) and Little Red (Meg.) The Irish genes were heavy in the air.

And a good time had by all.

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