Isn’t life such a festival of love, of learning, of giving and receiving said life?
In my babe’s second year, I have learned much to do about life–right alongside him.
While he learned how to form words within his rose-colored mouth, I learned that I have a voice worth listening to. As a fledgling mother, a woman can often underestimate her innate, naturally gifted body and mind on how to accomplish each and every new dilemma her sweet babe throws at her (My babe literally throws things at me now. A never ending game of Dodgeball, here.).
While he learned to spider crawl, I learned to live in these tiny moments, for they will never present themselves again. Him and I. Me and Him. She and babe. It was such a sweet time covered in breast milk though I was. And I would do it all over again. Maybe someday, but it shall never be the same as this was.
While he went from spider baby to running, I learned that I too could run. And not solely in the act of chasing him. But I could run to old friends and hobbies that didn’t necessarily pertain to my babe. For his first two years, every act was consumed in thoughts of my babe. But I am now striving for balance in all aspects. May my loved ones bear with me while I relearn what it means to be an individual while celebrating my womanhood, and my walk with motherhood.
In this year, I have also learned that it is not only okay to bring babe with me to new experiences, it is actually good for all parties. Since he could hold his head and blabber away, I have toted him on the back of my bicycle wear we talk and look at many things. But this can be like reading a book. Sitting on the sidelines of life. And that is not how I have even chosen to live. I like to be in the thick, gooey, often messy and unplanned, parts of life. And luckily, my monster bear boy seems to want for this, too. So I take him to cookouts, to the zoo, to movies, to bookstores, to beaches made of rocks, to campsites, to worlds I have yet to explore, and to old haunts I have sorely missed including a local pub during daytime hours (gasp! A baby in a bar. Yes, she did. Stop judging and offer to hold her sweet babe for a moment instead.)
Important note for new mommas: This sounds dreamy, right? A companion to venture with all the days of your life? Alas, he still gets cranky when I have accidentally kept him away from his crib for too long. And yes, we probably overstay our welcome at a thousand local spots, but we are learning. Bear with us bears, please.
Also, I’m rubbish at packing for these jaunts. Though I never forgot breast milk when I was pumping, I often forget essentials like wipes. Along this vein, we are driving two hours away today to my babe’s first music festival and I could not be more thrilled. We shall dance all day and into the wee hours where I am hoping my moon-loving babe will delight in a canvas of stars and milky waves kissing our summer-sweet skin.
If ever you dream of taking your wee thing to a festival, below are a few essentials that even the worst planner (me) has packed:
- Ear Muffs. I cannot stress this enough, as a little ones ear canals are not ready for such calamity. We are using a pair from Amazon.com that received stellar reviews from over 800 parental units.
- Lawn Chair. Fully aware he will probably not use this, but if he takes a milk break at any interval, I want him to be comfy while allowing me to continue grooving beside him.
- Blanket(s). Unlike super rad parents, my 2.4 year old is not potty trained, yet. There may be a fancy changing station, but highly doubtful. And maybe we can lay for a few tunes together, too.
- Swim Clothes + Towels. It will be a light 90 degrees this afternoon. A water session may be in the works. If not, the light, liquid-wicking fabric may be more suitable for sun-filled fests.
- Water Jugs. Sadly the world is made of plastic, but bring your own jars if possible. Some festivals do not allow you to bring drinks, but water may be approved.
- Cash. Because you may not be allowed to bring in your cakes and broccolinis, purchased snacks may talk toddlers out of wee tantrums.
- Planes, trains, and sharks. Just a few of my tot’s toys I will bring so that we both stay amused.
- Flexible body + mind. This fest, like all others, will not go as planned. Undoubtedly, Monster Bear will time his meltdown with my favorite band’s performance. But I have stretched my body to carry him throughout this day of night as well as my mind to embrace whatever may happen.
Have I forgotten any major life-savers? Have I mentioned that festival season is my favorite? Where is this spicy little weekend taking you?