This weekend Nana and I made our way to the International Festival. The festival has booths and food from all around the world, but most importantly, they have bands from all different genres and cultures. I was pretty excited because both Nana and I love music and to dance. Plus, I was looking forward to the experience of having a blanket and festival food and chilling with the rest of the other festival-goers and just enjoying life and music surrounding us.
I was relaying my experience to my sister, explaining that while I would have enjoyed Wood attending, Nana and I probably had more fun on our own. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a more relaxed parenting style compared to Wood, especially in how Nana relates in public. We were able to get our food and park ourselves on a blanket in front of the main stage. When the headliner act came on, Nana cut loose. I love watching her when she feels the beat. Its like the music really flows through her and she has to move. Our Nana gets downt.
Besides that, she was able to move around a little (within eyesight and a couple of steps either way) and play with the OMG! total strangers around us. Yes, I regularly let Nana speak to and sometimes engage with strangers. There weren’t many people with children there and so Nana stole to show. The guy on the left of us taught her to shoot her bubble gun up in the air in order to get more reach on her bubbles. People all around us were smiling and looking around for the source of the bubbles. My Nana brings the cool wherever she goes. The ladies on the right of us gave her a coozy which she promptly used as a glove. I mean, what else is that weird thing supposed to be used for. The couple in the back of us held a dance off with Nana in which I declared a tie, only because all of them were really off-beat and I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.
All of this meant that I didn’t have to spend so much time disciplining her, “sit down, don’t go over there, come back here, don’t bother those people.” It made for a good time for both of us. It also made me feel that there is still a community out there of people who are not bothered by children and who are open to engaging with others if they are allowed.
Interestingly, my sister told me that I should have been more careful. She hit me with the nebulous, “people are crazy and you never know what they will do.” What a total drag. I didn’t go into detail with Wood about it. I really struggle with this idea that Nana is this precious thing that no one should talk to. And furthermore, that should not make any noise or bother anyone. We know that kids are most likely hurt by people they know and are friends of their parents, not strangers at a festival.