An Addiction to Festivals: How a Toddler Decides what to Remember

It was a long week. There is no need to elaborate other than to say that we had to take some time to reassure Clarabelle that everything in her little was is okay. She is a thinker which is probably how she gives me so much material for the blog! But anyway, there was a moment that upset her and all she kept saying to get through it was that she wanted to go to a Blackberry Festival.

Yes, we went to a Blackberry Festival this year. In fact, it was shortly after the children were returned to their mother. Now, in case you don’t know, the Blackberry Festival is a small town gathering that is literally all about Blackberries to include little girls being crowned the Blackberry Queen and vendors selling everything made with blackberries. There is something similar in every small town movie or country song that you can imagine and, if you have never crashed a small town festival, you are definitely missing out!There was a man on stilts making

Anyway, there was a man on stilts making balloon animals and he scared Clarabelle to the point of hiding behind my legs. It was unnatural, this insanely tall man looking down at her and trying to get her to smile! She was having nothing of him and only accepted the balloon poodle after it had passed from him, to her mother, and then to me. But this was a happy day. Her uncle and cousins came along and solidified this as the first major family outing after our reunion. Forever in her mind, her safe place will be the Blackberry Festival.

On Friday, when the situation was resolved and she was able to finally calm down, she and I were chatting about finding a Blackberry Festival. She said, ” I really mean it. I want to go there!”

As with all festivals based on seasonal vegetation, the Blackberry Festival is a once a year event. Uhoh! I began scanning websites, search engines, and local Facebook groups to find something that would do the trick. Ultimately, I came across the Experience Asia festival in Tallahassee, Florida on the following day. I explained to her that she could see things that her stepdad will see when he heads out to Japan next week with the Marines.

She was sold. With only one little detail left. “Can we call it a Blackberry Festival?”

So, ladies and gentlemen, on Saturday, we attended the “Asian Blackberry Festival” and she felt safe again.

Whatever it takes. Wherever we must go. She will feel safe and for that, I am forever grateful!

When a grandchild says jump, a Gigi says how high!

“Gigi”