The email came mid-week:
“Dear Bree, We love your beautiful photographs on Instagram and think you’re swell. Are you interested in heading out to the Vancouver Folk Fest this weekend? We’ve got two tickets with your name on it if you are.”
It was from Salt Spring Coffee, and I answered without so much as a second thought. I will break it down for you right now: a single-mom who is also a grad student has many things out of her reach. Things that I yearn to experience, and I pretend aren’t important as the weekends pass and the posters plastered around the city remind me of what I am unable to do. I surround myself with what’s in my grasp, and share it all with you and those who follow my Instagram feed… But this email caught me by complete surprise. Delighted, and surprised, I answered ‘yes.’
Fast-forward a few days and my kids and I were through the gates. My boys asked me if I was famous because we got in for free and through a special line-up. I answered that in small (very small) circles, I am famous. I didn’t mention that in that way, we all are. They wanted it for me.
Music surrounded us immediately and we took in the sights and sounds as we walked around the park. They had never seen so many people in one place, I could see in their faces that this was having an impact. They were immediately sold on the whole idea of the Folk Fest. They bounced around and kicked up dust along the paths, ate chunky fries and frozen mangoes on sticks, and drank lemonade. We saw old friends and played an impromptu game of soccer. We saw new friends we knew only through Instagram, and shook hands triumphantly. Bliss. Total and complete bliss.
Until very recently, I have been consumed with my own worries about whether I am doing all this the right way.. You know, the parenting thing. This weekend I was able to see that it’s in these moments that their identities are being forged. They walk the grounds of a big, wide, festival with the confidence to let me out of their sight. They know I am there behind them watching, and I know that it’s time I gave them a bit of slack. With trust comes the responsibility of being trusted, and they haven’t let me down.
I wish that a simple thank-you to Salt Spring Coffee would suffice, but it couldn’t scratch the surface of my gratitude. Not only do I respect their ethos, and their commitment to social and environmental issues as a B-Corp, but I respect them as people who offer opportunities for my little family to create lasting memories and grow closer together.
I fell in love with life this weekend. I fell in love in so many ways, my city being one of them. #vancouverisawesome