We were small enough to use the sidewalk as a comfortable seat.
We'd sit there, oblivious to the crowd around us and the announcers on the stage, and prepare ourselves for the parade of colour and fun that was about to pass us by.
The small group of us were, at the most, five years old.
Old enough to understand that the Loxton Mardi Gras was our respective families' annual tradition, and to be completely aware that the parade participants would likely have lollies – so we had to be ready.
Five years passed.
I was big enough to use a bolted-down chair on the back of a moving trailer as a comfortable seat.
The group of us were chosen, herded and displayed by our school.
I was dressed from head to toe in colour and glitter and had a proud smile on my face as I stood next to my school friends and waved at the crowd waiting to hear if the announcers would mention my costume or name.
Six years passed.
I was responsible enough and fit enough to participate in the Mardi Gras without the hassle of a comfortable seat.
I was donning a Loxton High uniform, proudly representing the prefects of my school and walking in 30C heat, while holding a banner.
I loved every minute of it – and this time, the announcer did remember my name!
Two years passed.
I was aware enough to understand the importance of ensuring that other less fortunate people in the community had a 'comfortable seat'.
I was on the back of a float, again. This time, as a Loxton Mardi Gras ambassador entrant.
For me, this day was only the culmination of seemingly endless fundraising with the Loxton Football Club committee, six months of meeting and speaking with incredible people, and learning how to speak in front of a crowd.
I was a different person to when I started the quest. I was a grown up.
I contemplated all this as I walked from the parade, to the crowd and handed a group of excited five-year-olds some lollies.
Written by Pamela Perre