We had an incredible time at the Philadelphia Folk Festival this year, our annual home away from home. As we prepared for the 50th anniversary celebration, we wondered what it would be like with Chloe this year. Last year, she was 4 months old, and although she did seem to have a good time, she was still doing a lot of sleeping at that stage of life. Now that she’s figured out how to work her legs, we knew that we’d be in for an entirely different type of vacation.
A typical morning at Fest involves waking up with the sun, and it rapidly turns tents into saunas. In the past, we’ve been able to slowly move out of our tents, find a chair or a cot, and doze a bit longer until we were ready to be more fully awake. Not so with a happy babbling Chloe to wake us up (before the sun this year, as many mornings were overcast). Once we exited the tent, we realized that there was little relaxation to be had as she began to explore the campsite at full speed.
Another big change for us was being on shift (we volunteer at the festival). Our shift goes from 8PM-2AM and we had Chloe with us. Once she was tired, she slept on us, which was no big deal (and really one of my favorite things ever). She loved seeing all of the people (and they loved seeing her), and she began to pick up the words needed for a security volunteer – badge, wristlet, folk fest. By 9:30 we’d been chasing her around nonstop as she ran all over the place. We got to look up at the clear sky and watch her marvel at one of her favorite things, the moon. She was having so much fun, which made it less of a chore to run after her as she ran around, but it made me wonder early on how I’d ever make it to 2AM.
Truly her father’s daughter, Chloe is a child filled with a love for music. She enjoyed playing Jon’s new djembe drum and she loved dancing to the music that we enjoyed at Fest this year. It was really fun to see how this year was different than last year, and it was exciting to watch her enjoyment of Fest begin to grow.
This folk festival is more than a vacation to us, it is a home that we return to every year, to celebrate and visit with our extended fest family, and we are fully prepared and excited to bring her back year after year.