Turning in my #NOLA Card for my Mommy Card

By Sarah McDonald

One evening, I turned to my husband and said, “You know, I really don’t like crawfish boils anymore.”

His look could have frozen Lake Pontchartrain on a hot July day in NOLA. He was so shocked.

Since he was already in a state of shock, I figured I could keep going adding the French Quarter, a few very popular festivals and food items, and concluding with, “And, I could really give or take Mardi Gras now.”

That was it. I was surprised he was still standing.

I realized, at that point, that my rant was probably evidence that I should turn in my NOLA Card. I mean, if I am not going to enjoy these quintessentially New Orleans things, then why be here?

Then I started thinking about why I didn’t like these things anymore and it came down to one thing: my little people.

Disclaimer here: this is not a post to judge parenting styles or say that I am right and everyone else is wrong, rather, it is me sharing a little bit about why we make our decisions the way we do.

I know many families that live for crawfish season and make the family trip to Jazz Fest every year, and that is awesome. It’s just not for me and my band of blessings, because have you ever been to a crawfish boil with four children who can’t yet peel crawfish and are hungry? It’s not fun, and everyone leaves hungry.

What #NOLA things do we like to do: go to Mass at St. Louis Cathedral, cheer on the Saints and Pelicans, listen to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) play on the Great Lawn at City Park, eat gelato at Angelo Brocato’s, spot the animals in their habitats at Audubon Zoo, and spend long afternoons at the playground using our imaginations and testing our American Ninja Warrior Skills (which, by the way, my kids are much better at than I am at this point of life).

I think the clincher is – what we like to do, we like to do together as a family.

For us, making the memories and the experiences are not so much about being somewhere or doing something specific as long as we’re experiencing it together.

My children are still young, and I know that soon their activities and schedules will make the times that we are all together harder to come by. So, for now, I thank God for the time we do have lazily living by the grace of God and our own schedule. If that means I am trading in my NOLA Card for my “Mommy Card,” I will take it.

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