… stealth variety.
Hey, Anna-Liza here. What do I mean by “Stealth variety hippie freak”? I am so glad you asked!
Oh, and the “stealth hippie” thing applies to Darlin’ K, too, pretty much. He’ll probably argue about it, though. “Stealth” is because, for large chunks of time, both of us appear to be mainstream, or at least mainstream-ish, generic-married-two-kids-trying-to-make-ends-meet kind of folks. At least, if you don’t look too closely.
If you scratch the surface (and not too deep), you’ll find out different. But you know, we both think of most of the things we do as normal, and have to try to remember that most people just don’t do things the way we do. At least, so I hear. When it comes to parenting, for example, we’re no-spank, family-bed, cloth-diapering (yes! And I launder them myself, wimps!) extended breastfeeding types. One of things that I love about living where we do is that I was never once hassled about nursing in public. We know people who go way, way, way further out on the hippie-parent curve than we do, but then we also know people who wouldn’t know what a cloth diaper was if they saw it on a baby.
In fact, this post was partly inspired by Stephanie showing a pic of a baby in wool soakers. I came back to the knitting subculture because I wanted to knit some soakers for my wee ones. I ended up only knitting one, which wasn’t a great success, but hey, at least I started knitting again! I’m going to frog that (completely unused) soaker and turn it into mittens or something.
We’ve both lived a long, long time in the Boulder/Denver area. (That designation really does mean something a bit different than just “Denver” or “Boulder”. There’s a subtle cultural shift involved). He’s been here pretty much his whole life. Me, I’m a recent transplant. I’ve only been here 18 years or so.
I mentioned the Boulder Creek Festival. We went and this year Darlin’ K came along to
help wrangle the kids have some fun, too. I love the Creek Fest. It is so much Boulder … not Denver at all … and I can’t really say what I love so much about it. I mean, I’m not really a big fan of crowds, and I’m constantly in budget-watching mode (should I repeat the joke? Nah.) so it’s not like I go buy jewelry or more hippie clothes or anything. But I love my people-watching, and this is a great place for that.
This year, Mr. R. decided he was no longer interested in the kiddie train ride (Mr. B. went) and he decided he’d rather sword fight with his dad. This involved foam-rubber swords and axes, a lot of joyful flailing about, and nothing resembling actual fencing. They had a great time. There was a stage almost next to the sword-fighting place, and at one point a woman was singing an aria. Not an opera fan, so I can’t tell you what it was, but she sounded pretty good (like I’d know). Mr. B. had fun in the various bouncy houses. And we watched a Nia demonstration (my favorite exercise class evah), and a Taiko drum performance, both of which were really good, and had some ice cream, and the kids played for hours in the creek (while I sat on the bank and knit on the birthday object I can’t tell you what it is yet). And there was some really good music, too. I totally missed my favorite part, which is going to all the natural foods/body care/home care booths and getting coupons and samples. The kids were having so much fun I didn’t want to drag them away from what they were doing, and by the time I thought to ask DK if he could handle them on his own while I went sample-hunting, the booths were closing down. Oh well, I can do that part next year. (Last year I got awesome samples!)
Today, I was talking about this year’s Creek Fest with a friend who was there the same day we were. And it made me remember this one thing that happened there, back when I was pregnant with Mr. R. (who is 5. And a half. He keeps making me add the “and a half” and now I just have to say it). We have a friend I’ll call J who was doing a dance performance at the Creek Fest. DK is a firespinner and he’s a darn good one (no, I’m not biased, why?). The night before the performance, we saw J and he said he still needed some help with the performance, and would DK be willing to come firespin? (The link is to the website belonging to friends of ours. DK has worked with them before). DK agreed, and we duly showed up at the performance tent about 20 minutes before the show. J had said it was very improvised and there wouldn’t be a rehearsal, DK could just show up with his props and J would fill him in on the general outline, and DK could improvise from there.
Well. When we got to the tent, J looked at me (in my very preggers overalls, looking like a blue pumpkin) and said, “Oh, I wanted both of you!” I was to be the Generic Fertility Goddess. And DK was some form of Generic Fire God, I can’t remember what flavor.
Well, here’s where I get the idea that maybe I’m a hippie freak. Instead of saying “Are you out of your mind!?” I said, “But what can we do for a costume?” And a few minutes later, I was sashaying out on the stage, clad in nothing but three strategically placed scarves (and my, at the time, extremely long hair), holding a stone egg over my head and trying not to trip over anything, while appearing to have actual choreography. And DK was dancing around me with things on fire in his hands, and waving them around me.
Good thing he has long arms.