Monday, August 9, 2010

I'll give you two good reasons to cry at Folk Fest. . .

We went to Folk Fest yesterday.  We towed around a kid with a fever, and another who hadn't slept much then night before.  And against all odds - the fever mostly stayed away and they were amazing and patient and loved the atmosphere and the music.  We stayed for ten hours and Boy-o still wasn't ready to leave. 

And while sitting at our first music session, featuring one of my very favourite singers, Colin Hay - we had the most perfect few minutes.  I mean - just silly, stupid, ridiculous beautiful. The sun was streaming down.  Girlio had just fallen asleep in my arms.  Boy-o sat in L's lap, chillin' and spontaneously moving his arms in the air to the sounds of gorgeous music.  And then Colin played "I just don't think I'll ever get over you", which is one of my favourite songs, ever.  And it was perfection.  The kind of moment that only comes along every so often.  The kind that makes you realize you really, really love your life.  Teariness abounded.

And the later on, I was reminded again of just how much I love my life.  And of how fragile that life really is.   After traipsing and listening and snacking and climbing up that infernal hill about a gazillion times (okay - whose idea was it to put a folk festival on a ski hill, anyways?!), we went to the kids' area for some playground fun.  Boy-o and L. were playing happily in the sand when I realized that Girlio had spiked a fever again, and called L. over to help me give find and administer some kiddie drugs.  And it happened.  In an instant.  Boy-o was gone.  L. and I searched the area growing increasingly freaked out by the second.  We found security.  They put the word out.  And we continued to stumble around, by this time frantic.  I walked the same perimeter of the play area over and over, Girlio was in my arms, but I didn't once feel the solid 20 lbs of her weight against me, so singular was my focus.  Every child looked like Boy-o but wasn't.  All of the sudden, everyone seemed to be wearing the same sunhat as he was.   More security kept coming over to check in and help.  One of them tries to reassure me by saying: "If your kids' gonna get lost, this is the place to do it!"   I smile and him and do not say anything that is on my mind.  I do not say that there is an exit right beside the playground area and scads of forest trails in the area.  I do not say there are so many places a child could be hidden and hurt at this festival.  I do not say how trusting my child is of adults.  I do not say that just because someone loves good music does not mean they aren't also a pedophile, a kidnapper, a child abuser, a murderer.  I do not say that I can't stop thinking about the fact that I could be leaving this festival without him.  That this is my worst fear.  (Every parent's worst fear).  I do not say any of these things.  But I am thinking them.  They are running through my brain at breakneck speed.  Over and over.  Until they find me and tell me that they have found my boy.  That he is busily entertaining the security folks over at Mainstage.  Making them laugh with his Boy-o antics.   The security person kindly helps me find my way there, my mind so cluttered with relief that I can barely see.  And sure enough - Boy-o is fine.  Perfectly, marvellously, miraculously, fine.  He is entertaining everyone.  He sees me and tells me that "You and mommy got lost and I couldn't find you," as I am falling to my knees and grabbing him tight to me, Girlio still slung over one hip.  And then we practically run together across the grounds to find L., who is still looking, still out of her mind with all of those unspoken and unspeakable fears. 
I do not cry until after.  When I have left my three peeps to go in search of sustenance to take as a picnic to the next stage.  And all of the sudden, my legs feel like lead, my head swims with dizziness and I feel the tears starting to stream down my face.  I know the people around me must think I am crazy.  But I don't care.  I am overthrown with relief and fear and grief and happiness.

And then, the reality of hungry babes sinks in, and I force myself to shake it off and forge on in my mission for food, and to enjoy more music, more time with my family, who I am insanely lucky to have.


  1. This is one of our worst possible fears... Freaks me out just to read this.

  2. Whew! That is quite the Edmonton Folk Fest debut!
    Beautiful & gut wrenching all at once!
    So happy for the good moments :)

  3. We have taken to writing our cell number right on the child for this exact reason (& then hoping like hell that it is a good person who finds the child!!

  4. Oh god I know that feeling so well, having lost my boy a handful of times (and one time when his SCHOOL lost him and called me to say he was missing...what were they THINKING???)(ps he was in the sandpit playing the whole time)

    That feeling...oh it's the most hideous indescribable feeling...