As we turned the corner of the civic center parking lot on the float, my heart swelled. There were at least 400 exhausted men standing on the sidewalk, bleary-eyed, arms crossed, all waiting for their girlfriend/wife’s float.
What I realized then is how much effort is required of my husband at Mardi Gras.
I am in a Krewe and during the Carnival season, his demands as a father
slightly increase. Sure it’s a choice by me to be in a Krewe, but he respects it, and even encourages it. Side note: it’s a fabulous way to connect with women on another level. See Angelina’s post here on reasons why you should join a Mardi Gras Krewe .
On non-riding days, my family attends every Houma parade by choice (there are 10 of them). We usually tailgate most of the day with friends until the parade begins. There are times we get to our spot at 3 p.m. and come home at 11 p.m. only to get up the next day at 7 a.m. to start over and do it all again. My husband is the guy who does it all on these days: loads the truck, packs our chairs, tables, ice chest, and helps any friends with cooking or unloading their stuff. (We don’t do ladders, but I know that’s a labor of love for many during this time.) He carries a not-so-little-anymore child on his shoulders, or in his arms, at least 2 hours straight during the parade; and when we get home, empties his truck and unloads all the beads while I’m scrubbing
grime off the kiddos.
On ride day, my husband drops me off in the wee hours of early morning, then picks me up from the float whenever I am done – which I hope is by midnight. During the day, he hangs out with whatever family is in town all day (usually his mother-in-law) and makes sure they’re comfortable. He gets the kiddos ready for my parade by getting them dressed and preparing all the food and necessities for them during the day. He takes them all to the parade, brings them home, bathes them (minus the mother-in-law,) picks me up when I am done, and somehow has prepared food in advance for our gluttonous Fat Tuesday celebration the next day.
I know many husbands who do this each season in order to let their wives have “their time” without hesitation. There’s a contentment as a mom you can’t explain when you are finally letting loose knowing your children are completely safe and happy. I think it’s a display of Mardi Gras chivalry, if you will, and for that I am grateful. So to you, husbands, for all you do during Carnival, we say “Thank you.” You’ll always be the “King” of our parade.