Hey, Vicksburg: My kids think you’re really cool

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, February 21, 2024

I know I’ve mentioned them a few times before in my columns, but in case you missed it, I have two kids. My son just turned 10 and my daughter turns 15 next month.

Those two ages mean a lot of things. It means my son is really discovering sports and now asks me questions like did I play on any teams in college, which is a hilariously absurd idea, but please don’t tell him that yet. He still thinks that was a possibility. Meanwhile, my daughter is chomping at the bit to get behind the wheel when she gets her learner’s permit. But, it also means
they have very different ideas about what is “cool.”

My daughter still likes to tell me about the high school “drama” and just the other day stopped mid-sentence and said, “Sorry, dad. But you have to hear this stuff. You’re basically one of the girls.” You know what? She’s still telling me about her life, and I’ll take it as long as I can get it. But, I’m definitely at that age where she will tell me a story and I’ll say, “Cool. Wait. Right?” But, even with five years difference and the gender gap between them, they have something in common: They both think Vicksburg is “really cool.”

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Being newspaper kids, I’ve been dragging them along with me to events most of their lives. They’ve seen more parades than NOLA natives, have had to sit in the car (at a safe distance) when I’ve had to take an unexpected detour for a house fire, and they both are familiar with the rules on the sideline of a football field from many a Friday-night game.

But, through only a few months of tagging along to a handful of events here in town, I can see a big difference in their level of excitement. I would say some of that could be attributed to it being new, but as I’ve mentioned, we’ve lived here for almost four years now. Given, they are seeing some of these events for the first time and others from a much different perspective through The Vicksburg Post coverage. Regardless, they are having a really good time. I know this year’s Mardi Gras parade wasn’t exactly at full force, thanks to delays, rain, and a sustained wind that felt like being out on the open sea, but both of them still had a blast. I heard “this is so cool” from the boy-child more than once.

Just a few nights before that, both of them were with me at this year’s Carnaval de Mardi Gras and Gumbo Cook-off. Again, I know the weather made the event a little different experience than it is most years, but it didn’t matter to them. My son almost immediately disappeared to the kids’ area and my daughter happily sampled gumbo and even stepped in to help when I couldn’t alternate between the camera and my phone fast enough for all of the photos I wanted. In fact, several of the pictures on our website from that night actually came from her.

So, in case you were wondering, Vicksburg, both kids and teenagers still think you’re pretty cool. I figured I’d let you know, because I often wonder if I still am. The jury is apparently still out on that one, but you guys are getting lots of thumbs up. Or maybe it’s props. Fire emojis? See what I mean?

Blake Bell is the general manager and executive editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at blake.bell@vicksburgpost.com.