Today we’re all recovering from our first family festival. It was a blast.
We went to a small, friendly festy just two miles from our home on the beautiful Camel Estuary. And had a blissful two days and nights of sunshine, music, food, play, and laughter with friends and neighbours.
Waking up in our own comfy beds this morning was bitter-sweet. The kids didn’t want to go to school. My boy: ‘I want to go back to the festival.’ My girl: ‘I don’t really think I need to go to school today, Mummy.’
Me and my husband are experiencing delayed hangovers. Yesterday’s never seemed to come. Or perhaps we just didn’t notice it as the camping-with-small-kids-exhaustion feels kinda similar.
But along with the slightly queasy feeling in my stomach, there’s a warm feeling there. I can only describe it as feeling ‘loved up’, although it’s nothing that synthetic chemicals could induce. I think it might just be pure happiness. We simply had a blast.
The kids were amazing – no tantrums really, they just loved being outside with us and people they know and love. Our friends were equally wonderful – hilarious over a glass or two of gin and warm and loving towards our children. We pitched our four tents in a circle and formed a little enclave of love in which all the bubbas felt safe and happy.
And that meant that we, the adults, could do a whole lot more relaxing and having fun than we’ve been able to for a good, long while.
So where are the photos? Gah! I wish I had a thousand of those to pore over, print out, frame for posterity. But I don’t. And the ones I do have are pretty crap.
I feel a teeny bit guilty that I didn’t capture some of that magic with my camera. But I didn’t. We had an absolute blast and I just plain forgot to take any snaps.
Does it matter? Maybe? I feel that many of my own childhood memories are so vivid and clear because there’s a photo somewhere to back them up. Or perhaps the photo is the memory and my brain can’t tell the difference between the two.
Without tonnes of photos, will this weekend fade into oblivion? No way, Jose! But we’ll have to do some work to keep its memory alive.
We’ll tell stories about the best bits: Remember the band you loved? Those two ladies with feathers in their hair and on their shoulders? Remember me and Daddy twirling you both around and around to the music?
Remember the spooky storytelling tent? Remember the inflatable unicorns? Remember when we all got painted with glitter? Remember? Remember?
And we will.
And because I for one need something solid to hold onto – a physical hook to hang my memories on – I’ll get a box or a book and gather together the bits and bobs left over from our magical weekend. There are a couple of wristbands. Some flyers . I’ll find a picture of those amazing feathered women (Electric Swing Circus) and print it out. There are finger torches the kids played with. I’ll get a pot of glitter and bung that in too.
And I’ll also beg, borrow and steal photos taken by friends. And after a while I won’t mind so much that they aren’t mine because they’ll soon be ours too.
And we’ll remember together.