Sunday, September 30, 2012

Project Street Festival

Street festivals...
One of many things you do with children in an effort to prove to yourself that you can still live a normal life.
Welcome to the NEW normal...
Last Saturday the Rohrbeck clan ventured a county over (!) to a community event that was advertised as "kid friendly". What an oxymoron.
Not that I believe kids to be unfriendly. I just don't see any fun in toting a toddler and an infant to a crowded street fair in 80 degree weather during lunch and nap time.
The parking!
The lines!
The traffic!
We were doomed.

And that, dear readers, is why Doug calls me a pessimist. (As IF!!!)
Here's how it really went down.
We hit some traffic.
We parked in a lot on a whim and as it turns out we emerged from the parking garage as victors. We were right smack in the center of it all...
Funnel cakes...
Lemonade stands...
Craft tables...
Bounce houses... 
But it wasn't long before Mackenzie demanded that she walk instead of stay in the stroller. She peskily asked where we were going next.  Over. And Over. And Over. 
She wanted every balloon in sight and almost immediately whined that she wanted to let it go, "Up high in the sky". The kids corner was a bust - with Mackenzie being too big for the kiddie tent offering story time and block building - and too small for the rides and games. Doug managed to convince her to get into a bounce house and she ended up just sitting there, motionless, until the operator told her her time was up. Of course I missed out on this altogether because I was nursing a screaming Braden on the curb.
When we all met back at the stroller (our home base for the day) I wanted nothing more than to call it quits.
(Actually what I really wanted was to stroll three blocks and hit up Lululemon and Red Mango, two of my favorite, the irony is not lost on me).
But we forged on. Despite the heat. And the screaming 5 1/2 month old and the toddler who was teetering on nap time and just wanted another ballon... And another... And another.
After meeting up with some great friends we hadn't seen in far too long we managed to find time for a couple of beers and some soft pretzels.  Finally, we were able to catch our breath, if only momentarily.  And then something amazing happened.  
Just as I was lamenting the fact that my former life -- in which street festivals didn't involve diaper changes and nipple pads and a double jogging stroller -- was for all intents and purposes over, Mackenzie took my breath away.  
She became mesmerized by the live band playing several hundred yards in front of us.  I don't know if it was all the walking she did that day or the proximity to nap time (she crashed in the car before we even left the parking lot) but the music captured her attention in such an incredible way and everything about the moment was just beautiful. 
She twirled.  She clapped her hands.  She swayed.  And I couldn't help but feel like the luckiest person alive.  


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