Thanks For Everything, Prairieville
Goodbyes are not my favorite, but are necessary when closing a chapter.
We moved to Prairieville, Louisiana almost seven years ago. I was newly pregnant, licking my wounds from a failed attempt at living in a camp in Lacombe, followed by a short stint of housesitting off of Magazine in New Orleans with my brand-new husband. Baffled by adulting, we looked at houses in three different cities. We did not know what we were doing, but we knew where we were headed. It was time to become our own family, and we guessed that moving to suburbia near my family (with a straight shot to New Orleans) was the best bet.
We did not know, but we took a chance.
Almost seven years later, I have no regrets.
Prairieville is a place where you can comfortably have a baby because you feel safe and surrounded by well-seasoned mothers. On my first Mother’s Day, I was alone with my three-and-a-half-week-old daughter. My husband worked offshore, and I had not yet mastered the car seat. I had plans to meet my beloved grandparents at Ruffinos, but I could not wrestle the car seat straps open in my sleep deprived state.
We did not make it to lunch that day. Less than ideal, but it was okay. I laid my perfect baby down in her beautiful crib, opting for a Mother’s Day photo shoot instead. In Prairieville, I had a cozy home, full of family vibes. Gone were my days at French Quarter Fest and my nights at Columns. Instead, I had the square footage to learn how to become a mother (who would eventually learn how to manhandle any car seat, every time).
A lot went down in Prairieville.
A dissertation was written. A surprise baby appeared. Covid happened. Another surprise baby (eleven months later) arrived. A husband worked many, many weeks offshore. My parents showed up for us, with milk when we were running low and much appreciated help with dance. Our extraordinary neighbors took care of us, keeping a watchful eye, especially during Girl Week.
Mom’s Guides became a useful tool in discovering kid events to fill our calendar. We visited the library to watch a ballet and meet a princess, we picked strawberries and pumpkins at Mrs. Heathers Strawberry Farm and Pumpkin Patch, and we listened to stories at LSU Burden and Gardens. Seasons were emphasized and celebrated, with milestones marked along the way. Taqueria Don Beto tacos was what was for lunch.
No longer a twice professionally paid babysitter, I learned how to become capable of raising three little happy girls. They thrived in Prairieville, happy to catch a fish at Uncle Christian’s house and or create works of art during Funzone at SOAC. Our beautiful neighborhood had a gazebo, ideal for baby shark dance parties. Prairieville was centrally located and easily accommodated all of the field trips. We still went to Ghosts in the Oaks at City Park, and the English Tea Room in Covington. The Teddy Bear Tea at the Roosevelt was not to be missed.
But it was always a relief to go home to Prairieville. People in Prairieville are kind and on the same page. Everyone wants to see their kids do well and be happy. I am grateful to have spent baby jail on a quiet cul de sac, surrounded by Lifetime Christmas movie nice neighbors. My girls are better for it. I am for hopeful for what our next chapter brings, but I will never forget what Prairieville did for our family.