Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery
dr_pretentious

Sun Worship, Rain Year, Son Chasing

Going to the Solstice festival with a small child has to be about sharing the experience with the small child, or else you'll get very cranky thinking about the things you're no longer free to do. (And by you, of course, I mean me.) Dancing all night by the fire circle, going to concerts that start after the small child's bedtime, attending workshops to learn about other branches of Neo-Paganism so you can be on informed happy terms with your neighbors, assisting at the open ritual your own tradition hosts, even helping tend a merchant booth where your own books are for sale--all of these are possible only if you dump baby duty on your spouse, who would also like do something at festival other than chase a toddler or spend naptimes sitting on the cabin porch next to the baby monitor.

As my sister said of going to the zoo with toddlers, if you think of it as a leisurely stroll in the park with a picnic and maybe a couple of bonus animals if you're lucky, you'll have a fine time, whereas thinking of it as a trip to the zoo will only drive you crazy.

Gareth had a blast chasing the bigger kids around on the greensward, flirting with friends old and new, and learning new songs. Best of all, as far as he was concerned, there were lots of muddy puddles to stomp in. What could possibly be better than stomping in really deep, extra squishy puddles? Oh, and I learned that I can distract him from things I don't want him getting into (as long as they're not puddles), by offering to teach him a new word. Hey, it's more fun for all concerned than a time out. He demanded an explanation of why the pavilions we set up over our encampment's kitchen were pavilions, not umbrellas, and by the end of the conversation, he and I were both inordinately pleased with ourselves that he understood the difference.

It was a rain year at festival. Not the rainiest rain year we've ever had, but the alternating intense bouts of thunderstorm and clear blue were enough to set off my chronic pain. It's like having arthritis, only without the actual joint damage. Now I'm home with a dozen laundry loads' worth of damp things I need to save from moldering before I fly for Seattle in about 48 hours. I really, really do not want to ask my house sitters to take care of laundry while we're gone.

After this past week, I feel well prepared for a writing retreat in a rain forest.
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