Sunday, August 26, 2012

Live Oak Music Festival: Hippy Fun for the Family

Ever since 2002, with the exception of one year, the girls and I have enjoyed Father's Day weekend at Live Oak Music Festival near Santa Barbara. I considered skipping it this year due to finances, but thanks to their volunteer work-trade offerings, we were able to return to the three-day eclectic music fest. The girls earned their ticket by doing odd jobs around the farm. I earned my ticket by working several hours over the course of the weekend building marshmallow guns with Live Oak kids. The festival is well worth the effort, if you don't mind a crowd and the sounds of people having a good time.

Having attended several years, not being a big fan of heat or crowds, and having just moved, I was almost ready to skip this year, but when I mentioned that option to the girls, they were beside themselves. While most other offerings these days bring little reaction from them, Live Oak is a favorite. They love running the dirt roads with glow sticks and passels of kids who may or may not have showered, brushed their hair or even slept in the past two days. They sing songs and play games with Live Oak Friends - kids from throughout the U.S. who gather here every year. I love to watch them enjoy themselves.

This year's added fun came with a new group of kids who found our very public camping spot at a main intersection in the campground. I gave the kids some room by heading into the trailer for awhile, windows open, while they played guitar and visited outside. At one point, I heard one of the boys egging on another.

"What did you say?" he chided.

"I said, 'I like her. I mean I like-like her. I'm not afraid to say it,'" the second answered as he sat next to my pre-teen.

"Ah-hahahaha! DUDE! Her mom's RIGHT THERE," howled the first.

I'm not sure my girls were even aware what the joke was all about.

My new favorite young man turned to me sheepishly, then hid his head in a towel.

"Why are you embarrassed," I asked through the window. "So you like a girl. That's perfectly normal! It's the decisions you make from there that matter to me."

He unwrapped his head, beamed and cheered, "You're the BEST mom, EVER!"

I think we might survive this phase.

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