My first baby girl came into the world a week late at a whopping 9 lbs. 13 oz. and screaming her guts out. We both cried the first six weeks of her life.
But then the tears stopped and the fun began.
At the time we lived in the basement apartment of a downtown law firm, so during business hours we had to lay low and keep quiet in order to secure our cheap rent. With Madi’s lung capacity and spirited nature we opted to evacuate the premises most days wandering the streets of downtown Logan looking for adventures.
Some of our favorite haunts were a toy store, book store, frozen yogurt shop, fabric store, post office, thrift store, the park, the grocery store and a shaved ice stand. We put miles and miles on a stroller as we walked to complete errands and pass the time.
Since the LTD bus system was fare-free we often hopped on the bus to other parts of town. We’d go for free hot dogs at parking lot RV sales and play in the “little houses.” We’d find a new park or go up on the college campus to wade our feet in the fountains.
Sometimes there were festivals, sidewalk sales, home and garden shows to meander through. It was simple, fun and kept our days busy.
For three summer days a lush and spacious city block transforms into an art fair with artisan booths, delicious food, music performers and kids activities. It all took place only yards from our apartment and the sounds and smells beckoned to us. We answered the call and spent the bulk of all three days there year after year soaking in the culture and early summer weather.
Although Madi was too young to remember all the time we spent there when she was little, the smell of kettle corn and roasted nuts must have seasoned her subconscious and called for a return to her roots because she wanted to spend her 16th birthday at Summerfest and have funnel cake to celebrate.
Her roots to Summerfest actually go back to her birth. Jason and I were at Summerfest the night before she was born. I was a week overdue and everyday that week I made Jason take me for a rigorous walk up the long, steep Old Main Hill on the USU campus to try and get things underway.
I trudged and pushed, but baby wasn’t budging. She was snug and cozy in my protruding belly and no amount of strenuous prodding was going to force her to download before she was ready.
With not so much as a twitch of labor after days of straining, we decided to bag the hike on that warm Thursday night and bask in some Summerfest fun. We sat on the lawn listening to bluegrass music and eating gyros and Aggie ice cream. We walked around the booths until they closed then rented a movie and watched it until we fell asleep on the couch.
Four hours later, with the tunes and tastes of Summerfest having lubed the womb, Madi decided she was ready to join in the fun and make me pay for eating a gyro prepartum.
Now exactly sixteen years later at Summerfest, I watched with a nostalgic pang as my not-so-little girl opted for turquoise earrings instead of face painting. We ate funnel cake on the lawn and sang happy birthday to my grown-up girl now an accomplished artist, writer and musician.
She is living proof you don’t have to listen to Mozart during pregnancy to produce brilliant children. A spicy gyro, some cookies ‘n cream and a little blue grass will do the trick.