Parents Caught Acting Responsibly!

Last weekend I was in New Orleans visiting old friends and taking in the Jazz Fest. It’s an annual musical event that showcases masterful artists from all over but focuses primarily on the vast array of super-talented performers from the New Orleans area itself.

You wander from tent to tent along with hundreds of others who come together to soak up the sounds and chow down on local delicacies like gumbo, crawfish, Po Boys, red beans and rice, oysters, and jambalaya. A symphony of sounds including Zydeco, Jazz, Gospel, Dixieland, and funk fill the air and make it impossible not to smile while you tap your foot and move to the beat.

But it’s not only about music. There are other things–like rows of local artisans showcasing their wares and demonstrations by traditional native dancers clad in colorful costumes–that compete for your attention, too. And needless to say, it’s an incomparable venue for people-watching. All in all, it’s an outrageous feast for all the senses. I got my fill and then some!

But what also caught my eye and got me as excited as the food, art, and music was the wonderful sight of parents behaving well!

The music was loud and the sun was fierce but those on-the-job-moms from the Big Easy had it covered. As I surveyed the scene here’s what I noticed: Soft, silicone ear plugs protecting the hearing of the very young; sunglasses and hats covering little heads wherever I looked; tiny feet decked out in sturdy tennis shoes that kept their feet safe as they toddled, walked and ran on the hot, crowded, dirty grounds; big hands holding little hands; and dads as well as moms stepping up to carry and cart their babies carefully through the crowds. Beautiful!

Everyone seemed to be having a fabulous time. I sure did. It was a wonderful opportunity for families of all ages to enjoy a little local culture and fun.

I have always loved Louisiana and New Orleans especially but now I’m an even bigger fan. Well done Southern mamas! You rock with the best of them.

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Ellen W. Schrier, LCSW, is a family therapist and the mother of three adolescent/young adult kids.

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