I’ve been in south Louisiana my whole life, and part of that experience involves Mardi Gras. Well, this year, Mardi Gras started early. In all honesty, it has been a while since we got into the whole Mardi Gras thing. We have all been busy, and I’m not even going to talk about the last couple years. With that said, we were invited to the “Queen Party.” When I would usually say “we” any other time in my life, that would mean my wife and I, but this time was different. There was a third wheel that was along for the ride: my 13- almost 14-year-old daughter.
I have to say, it just seems weird. The closer we got to the weekend of the party, listening to her and her mother talk about what they were wearing and ordering, and what they were going to be doing, made it more like I was the third wheel at this party. I have done this so many times I can’t remember, but this time, it was so different, as the group text had her in them and people were talking about all the same things. However, when your daughter is right in the thick of it all for the first time, it’s like you have a constant on edge feeling, like watching what is said and planned and by who and with whom. Trust me, it’s different.
So the weekend arrives and we are packing up for one night in New Orleans, and as we hit the road and look back, it is no longer just my daughter in the back seat, but my fellow party goer…so weird, right? We got to the house and everyone started getting ready, and she was there doing makeup and hair for herself and for some of the other people there, just like a full-grown adult. As we get into the party bus to head to the party, I see her sitting with all of us, just like she was meant to be there the whole time, just talking it up with everyone, even people she did not know. It was happening; we were doing this, and I was still wondering where I could let her sleep when she got too tired, as these nights go on for a long time.
Well, to cut to the chase, the night was great. There were no party fouls, or at least none that hit my radar. The biggest issue I had was seeing friends and family I have not seen in a long time and having to explain, “No, she’s not in college yet. She’s only 13.” This had proven to be a bigger problem that I can go into another day, but the night was great. Everyone had a great time. So, who would have thought the day would come that my daughter was out partying with her mother and I? Well, I did. I just did not think it would be this soon.
Oh, and guess what? She carried it all the way home like her dad used to. I was the one who was always the last to go to bed and keep the house alive all night…turns out, I was the one who needed to go to sleep, and she made it all night out by the firepit while dad was off in bed.
I’ll do better next time guys, but until then, get ready, your day is on its way.