|Green Barkus dog. Hopefully it washes out?|
It also required trudging through stop and go traffic, dealing with Mardi Gras parking, walking 12 blocks pulling a wagon and trying to navigate through the crowd to get a good spot - which we never really did. We were late and weren't able to cross the parade route to meet up with friends we had planned to meet and it was hard to see anything (why are those dogs so short?!?). I tried to bring FrenchFry up to the front a few times but he couldn't see in the Ergo on my back and he would cry if I tried to put him on my shoulders. Frankly, he seemed a lot more interested in sitting in the wagon with his friend eating goldfish crackers than checking out the parade at all.
|Mommy (Red) and Max on the parade route.|
Sometimes it's hard for me to find a way to be truly present and just enjoy things like this. I focus on all of the things that aren't going right and the expectations I had going in that are hard to live up to. And now that I have FrenchFry, there is an added expectation that he have (unadulterated) fun as well. That's not to say that we didn't have fun. There were the great NOLA Mardi Gras moments in there like FrenchFry and his toddler friend rocking out to the marching band and us all getting our boogie on. We got (much needed) sunshine and exercise and time in the beautiful French Quarter. It's just so easy to focus on the things that didn't work out as planned sometimes as opposed to the brighter moments. Or perhaps to focus on the epic toddler-who-missed-his-nap meltdown that resulted in me carrying a kicking and screaming kid 10 blocks back to our car. (I really do feel bad for the strangers who came up to us hoping to distract him with their shiny beads because he was just NOT having it.)
Long after we were home (and the meltdown of all meltdowns had subsided) I was putting FrenchFry to bed. He was playing with his multi-colored nightlight and I asked him:
Me: "Do you have a favorite color, FrenchFry?"
Max: "Uh, yeah!"
Me: "What is it?"
Max: "Doggie parade!"
And it hit me. We remember the Good Stuff. He'll remember the Good Stuff. And I need to continue to work on being present in the moment and just enjoy the it - not worry so much about the expectations I put on myself or the world around me.