Home From This Year's Big Pagan Festival
This is my firstborn son.
I can trust him around a sizable bonfire. I can trust him to stay a respectful distance from people spinning blazing poi. I can trust him to stay hydrated, and to avoid getting underfoot even when one of our fellow dancers is literally blind. I can trust him to tell me, graciously, whether he is still having a good time at 10pm in the rain.
Plenty of other skills could use some work, but I'd be happy to dance a fire circle with that kid anytime.
This year, Conrad didn't stay up late enough to drum at the fire circle. Last year, the other drummers had their doubts about him, right up until they heard him play. He was two, and he kept up just fine. Next year he'll have a new drum handmade for him by the other Conrad of the Drum (who, it turns out, is tickled by the idea of there being two Conrads of the Drum).
So, I have survived five days of festival with a six-year-old and a three-year-old, with Dan joining us for only half of that time. The boys drove me intermittently crazy, in age-appropriate ways entirely consistent with their personalities. For the most part, though, we all had a good time.
The heavy rain for the first half of the festival really slowed down traffic on merchants' row, and even when the camp store booth was open, the volunteers running it didn't dare display books as long as the rain went on. So I came home with most of the books I'd hoped to sell. Sold a few, anyway, and at least one to somebody I didn't previously know.
And another layer of Litha memories has gone into the landscape where the next Rugosa Coven novella will take place.