Another year, another festival. Looking back, this was a very hard year. I came home early from work today so I could rest. I was doing no good at work, staring blankly into into space. And the tiredness wasn't from putting on all-night benders, as it was in my younger days. It was a deep, in-my-bones tired from working hard, chasing a toddler, and staying up much too late because of everything that needed to be done.
But I am not one to live my life in the negative. This is my opportunity to highlight the parts of the Festival that penetrated all of that exhaustion, all of that stress, and brought me to tears for its beauty.
Sophie amazed me. In the 90+ degree heat, she maintained her silliness and calm demeanor. She was charming and good and only threw two temper tantrums the whole time - both because of the heat. She slept through the nights in the tent and got her first Festival nickname, Somophamie. It was a big year for this little girl. She weathered the rain and enjoyed her time playing while letting mommy organize t-shirts at the store. Oh, and she learned two new, very important words: umbrella and golf cart.
Riley was equally amazing. He played hard, worked hard, and was incredibly responsible. On Saturday night around 12:30am, we walked back to camp after closing up the store. I told him he could wind down around camp before heading to bed. Uncle Charles joined us for some sing-alongs, and after Sunshine Superman and Brown Eyed Girl, I told Riley he needed to go to bed after the next one. He looked at me, a look of shock on his face, and said, "I think I WANT to go to bed!" Here he was, camping, singing around the fire, and yet he was soo tired. Welcome to the Festival, Riley.
Saturday night was the only night I really stayed up, going to bed around 4am. I guess first I must explain that festival time is quite different from regular time. When it's 4am, you really think it's around midnight because the activities of the day don't end until 12:30am or so, so you're still wired. This is what bites you in the ass on Monday. Anyway, that evening I laughed so hard with Miss Dottie, Neighbor Eric, Lunchy, Christo, Nikki, and I'm pretty sure Timothy was there, too. I can't say I remember exactly what we were laughing so hard about (although I do remember a pair of glow stick breasts that made an appearance) but boy, I sure remember the feeling.
(Thank GOD there's not a picture of the breasts.)
Sunday morning, I was suddenly responsible for some end of festival details after Jean went home, meaning that neither Roy nor I were available to help clean up camp. I had a chance to clean out the tent before I went to tear down the store at 9, but was totally overwhelmed when I came back to camp to find our friends rolling up our air mattresses, taking down our tents, and putting all of our stuff together. They even loaded our car so when we finally rolled out of there at 1:30 that afternoon, camp was spotless and we were good to go. I am so grateful to have these amazing people in our lives.
Miss Dottie always says that when you meet good people, you hold onto them for dear life. This year, they were my raft, my life jacket, and my lighthouse.