7 01 2011

I have heard that voice many a time when asleep
and, what is strange, I understood more or less
an order or an appeal in an unearthly tongue:

day draws near
another one
do what you can.

-from “On Angels,” by Czeslaw Milosz

Happy 12th Night, and a Joyeux Mardi Gras season. I love January 6th, with its juxtaposition of divine heraldry and outrageous celebration. Another year baking a galette des rois (pic to follow), this time with chocolate and pears. Yumm… And all across Louisiana, members of the Mardi Gras krewes have been meeting to officially announce their Queens and Court, beginning the hectic dive into parades, formal and less-formal balls, and generally rockin’ parties. Laissez les bons temps roulez.

house art project

And in a very different note, yet still following the mandate of ‘do what you can,’ we had a beautiful day with Bebe, his grandmothers, and his young cousins – a matching set of giggly, very pink girls who embellished the day with singing competitions; long, whispery secret-telling from the edge of their seats and beneath tables; and giddy, galloping races, with a cackling Bebe in happy pursuit. We spent several hours romping through the Louisiana Children’s Museum in New Orleans, exploring:

miniature steam paddleboats and the 19th century shipping routes of world goods through the port of New Orleans;

the conductor’s control panel for street trolleys (or as we call them in Louisiana: streetcars);

child-sized bayou cabins

bayou cabin - child scale

and shotgun houses

shotgun kitchen

and Creole cottages (“Welcome to my lovely home, Auntie – I’ve made some delicious crawfish pie. Would you care to try some?”);

creole cottage - child scale

neighborhood restaurant and a shopping market;

city planning centers (with awesome blocks, light tables, art projects, sustainable building materials, and an array of hands-on building displays);

city planning blocks

and standard children’s museum staples like bubbles, sensory education, costumes, and story hour.

And then very hometown food for lunch: po-boys, cups of gumbo, and grilled seafood. (My post-holiday, insufficient-exercise waistline is mute evidence of my love for the comfort foods of home.)

When we trooped back home for a very belated naptime, Bebe declared, “Good Day! Thank you everywhere!”

From the lips of my child to my heart and to you:
Recognize a Good Day.
Give thanks.

It illuminates my heart, and lightens the messier bits of everyday life.




6 responses

7 01 2011

Another fun day. I have a friend that is in some krewe or another in New Orleans.

And oddly enough, I’ve been to Czeslaw Milosz’s grave in Poland.

12 01 2011

My mother tries to persuade me to join her krewe every year, but while I love going to Mardi Gras balls and parades, I have never had the time/money to invest in being a krewe member. Much easier to go dancing and catch beads!

And so very cool about Poland!

7 01 2011

Milosz and Bebe, poets of the heart. 🙂

12 01 2011

So true 🙂 although I think Bebe’s style is generally more like the haiku of Basho – short yawps, deep thoughts

10 01 2011

Love that….”Good day. Thank you everywhere!” Kids are awesome!

12 01 2011

Indeed, they are very awesome. And even on Rampaging Toddler days, sometimes he comes out with phrases that flip everything around and absolutely save our day. Love that 🙂

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