Christian bought a ladder for Mardi Gras last year. I have always suspected that a motivating factor behind becoming a father for Christian was the thought that, with a child, comes the excuse to stand on the back of a ladder during parades. The ladder is high up, so it allows for an enormous height advantage over the rest of the crowd and, as an added bonus, even with a kid or two in the seat there is still room to rest a beer.
We didn't have time to do it last year so painting the ladder is something we have talked about quite a bit over the past few months. Christian and La Luz picked out the paint weeks ago, but it rained just about every day since then. The weather finally cleared up enough to allow Christian to apply a coat of yellow paint. It is amazing what a difference just one coat of yellow paint makes on a ladder. While discussing and thinking about the painting, I imagined the beautiful stencil work I would do towards the end of the project. I pictured glossy golds and greens, shiny purple and sparkles. I imagined different symbols - beads, masks, letters. It all looked so beautiful in my mind.
Christian brought the ladder inside this evening to avoid the rain and to allow us some time to finish the painting project. When I set out to get to work on the stenciling I was excited. Half way through my first attempt I discovered that it is not altogether easy to do. I muddled through, somehow, and the result is nothing close to what I imagined I was capable of doing. Really it isn't bad, just not neat, not precise, not shiny - or - as Christian said, "it looks nothing close to the one he saw at Harry's". I am lucky that La Luz is not as tough a crowd.
Here she is, earlier tonight, pre-stenciling efforts, practicing for the parades: