By one measure – perhaps the one that matters most in this case – yesterday marked ten years since we moved back to New Orleans. On the Gregorian calendar, we haven’t yet reached the anniversary, but yesterday was Lundi Gras. So it’s been ten New Orleans years since our plane touched down in time to celebrate the first Mardi Gras, and Lundi Gras night, after Katrina. A reminder of the relativity of time and how we measure it.
Thinking back to that somewhat sparse Mardi Gras – in parades, and floats, and people in the street – when MrMan was only three months old, and tiny enough to strap onto my front, reminds me of how integral Mardi Gras is to New Orleans. And how both are such an important part of my life. Soon after Katrina, I got in my head (and heart) that I had to be here in New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2006, as a way to tell my city that I believed in it and its ability to recover.
Back then, I didn’t expect that we would still be living here all these years later. I thought that it was going to be just a brief stint to soak in and support post-Katrina New Orleans while we figured out where on the mainland to settle. Ha! I can’t find photo evidence of Mardi Gras 2006 right now, but I still remember people asking me on Lundi Gras if that was a real baby in there – in the mound on my front. It’s still a weird question in my mind (and a weird costume idea), but I guess also a reminder of how rare infants were in the city back then, six months after the storm. I also remember that I was pretty stoked to get a parking ticket that night, suggesting we wait to pay it so that we could give the city even more money with the fines. I’ve gotten over that mindset.
All this to say, happy anniversary to us! And Happy Mardi Gras!