Ladies and gents, happy Lag BaOmer! Soon it will be time to get the Torah...but until then, people can celebrate by having large gatherings, cutting their hair, and just generally whooping it up.
I myself did the large gathering part yesterday by heading out to the JazzFest with Dan and the little guy. Spent most of my time at the Economy Hall tent taking in some jazz, especially some fantastic stuff from the Treme Brass Band and a little girl named Gabrielle who nearly stole the show right out from under their instruments by belting out some "Bourbon Street Parade". She could certainly throw out the sass, too: "I ain't done with this mike." Nice to see some future generations movin' on up in these parts on the stages.
As it was, I had to rein in my husband's and my genetic material on occasion. Where do I start? The little guy took great pleasure in putting his hand on the leg of the lady next to us and having her very adamantly take it off. When I finally noticed what was going on, he gave me a big grin and did it one more time. It was then I decided it was time to take him out and try to shoe-horn ourselves into the Gospel tent for Irma Thomas' tribute to Mahalia Jackson, but, since we couldn't get in, we settled for a song or two just outside the tent and then traipsed back to Economy Hall. On the way back, the kid was mesmerized by the little scraps of fabric on some skinny coed's bikini bottoms - and he couldn't resist giving them a mighty tug, nearly yanking the bottoms off the poor girl. Where the HELL does he get this from? He's going to be BIG TROUBLE in the teenage years and beyond, ladies. I'm warning you...
Note to JazzFest organizers: next time, please stick the Kids' Tent a little further away from the Kids' Village. When sitting at the village and watching the young 'uns run around with nets, various plastic food items, and building blocks with which to rebuild a toy New Orleans, we parents can hear the music at the Gentilly Stage loud and clear, without all the crowd hassles - unless there is music going on in the Kids' Tent. The other problem with the Kids' Tent is that there were various adults of various ages deciding that the back end of it was the perfect place to light up and smoke - and I'm not talking about Marlboros, y'all. Maybe if parents who haven't been able to get their kids to eat for weeks could have been notified about that, they could have brought the young 'uns over to inhale and get some cravings. Otherwise, those adults need to behave like adults and take it someplace else...please. Or just move the darn tent further away from the village.
There were two beautiful kid moments, however. The main reason why we were able to take in as much of Treme's performance as we did was due to fantastic roving vendors of roasted peanuts - one of whom got cornered by my son. I got the little guy a bag, found a great seat in Economy Hall, and he spent most of his time there taking in the music with me and trying to crack open the peanut shells any way he possibly could. After his extended stay at the Kids' Village, I managed to peel him away from the area back to the tent, and when we walked near the dance floor while Dr Michael White was playing, he yanked on my dress.
"Mommy, do you want to dance with me?" he asked.
I dropped everything at the side of the floor and shared a dance with him. Who knows when this will happen again? Maybe when I'm old and gray and he HAS to dance with me 'cause I'm his quasi-sainted mameleh.
Yep, gotta strike when the weather is hot, the jazz is, too, and the kid still loves Mommy relatively unconditionally...
Other Festering Fest Stuff:
After a large number of text messages that, between the both of us, could well have made another version of War and Peace, I finally managed to take in some of Deacon John with Dangerblond and Sheckrastos just outside of their VIP seats. Thanks for hangin' with the peon, y'all. And I did see Mr Clio pass by the Kids' Village with a lil' Clio on his shoulders.
My husband was full of "You missed it"s, as in, "Oh, you saw a lot of Treme, but you missed Alvin Batiste second-lining." "You saw some of Michael White's set, but you missed so much; I think it was his greatest ever." Honey, I love you, but I think next time we go, you will be doing little guy duty for most of the Fest. At least I wasn't this one mom I met at the Kids' Village, who was keeping an eye on her 3 1/2 year old while holding her month-old child. I love JazzFest, but I don't love it that much, thanks.
And finally...Birkenstocks suck. My legs are still suffering.