There are dozens of voices in my head, and they're all telling me how to parent. I've struggled to ignore that thrum of voices long enough to listen to my own one voice, which is surprisingly clear and wise. It's such an important thing to struggle for: To give Tessa the childhood that we think she should have and not the childhood that anyone else thinks she should have.
When it comes to taking a baby to Bonnaroo, there are even more opinions ricocheting around my noggin--mostly, all the voices that I've heard over the years saying, 'I would never bring a baby to Bonnaroo.'
I'd known for awhile that I'd have a friend's guest pass to the festival on Sunday if I wanted it. And I purposefully didn't look very hard for a sitter for Tess. I wanted her with me. I wanted her to experience the sights and sounds of Bonnaroo, which is like another planet. After a sound two-hour nap and a big lunch, I packed her up and took her to Manchester, Tennessee--about a 75-minute drive from Nashville.
And I am so, so, so happy I did! She had so much fun and was so happy to see her da-da. So was I. It had been a lonely few days for me doing some single-parenting. Somehow it's lonelier to be alone with a baby than to just be alone.
I stayed for five hours--heard some Amos Lee and some Cold War Kids, hung out in the shady area backstage and ate popsicles, took Tess to the Kids' Zone, and introduced her to some Knoxville friends we hadn't seen in too long. She slept the whole way home.