Being an Au Pair is amazing in that our Area Director’s go out of their way to find exciting things for us to do at our monthly meetings. For those of you who are not too sure what Area Directors are; this is the person in the United States who ensures that we follow the rules, have a great time and we are still living and breathing each month, kind of like a mom (except she can’t ground us when we misbehave, thank goodness for that because I would probably have spent my whole time in this country in my room without a cellphone). And the monthly meetings are the times when we see our Area Director in person. So being March what better way to spend it than at a St Patrick’s Day parade. Just a pity though we could not spend it in true Irish style with a keg or two in our hands singing about the good ‘ol days in our dear Ireland while dressed in green .
Morristown, a beautiful town in Morris County, New Jersey, was the place chosen for our monthly meeting. The weather that day was superb, the sun was shining and there was just enough of a breeze to make it bearable but not too cold. The parade started off with a group of girls dressed in colourful traditional Irish dress dancing to upbeat folksy tunes and skipping and hopping higher than should be humanly possible I thought about trying it but then thought I could come up with much better ideas, I think I will just put this down to the fact that they were young and not that I was certainly very unfit.
With the streets filling up with all sorts of people who had just discovered they all had some sort of Irish heritage, most though dating back probably a couple centuries, some wonderful Au Pair discovered a Starbucks. Now Starbucks is the very way of life for us Au Pairs, it is where we go to meet new friends, to fill our veins with coffee so strong it’s a sure bet we will not be sleeping for the next few days and it’s the place you go to gather your senses when your kids have frayed and dashed each last nerve you had. Starbucks is home. So in we go to gather our little comforts to make the most of standing outside. After all that it was back on the street to watch the parade unfolding before us.
The actual parade was a wonderful affair. Most of the people were men dressed in skirts, oh make that kilts (I never did understand the difference), walking to the beat of drums, flutes and bagpipes. Glorious red fire trucks passed our way filling up the entire street and amazing us at the sheer size of this monster machine. A mime artist walked by entertaining children in silence, and for two very amazing seconds we experienced that same silence from the children as they tried this imitation, I believe from now on I will be playing this game with my kids. There were a group of people and dogs from the Seeing Eye Dog foundation which is very famous in Morristown and then some more very famous Irish dogs. The Irish wolfhound left most of us gaping with its enormous size, it was truly a magnificent creature.
The parade was wonderful as it left us with great memories. For me it was the chance to meet some great, friends from exotic places in this world, to learn about the Irish culture in a fun and interactive way and to add to my already over flowing bank of memories of my exceptional time in the United States of America.