I was completely psyched to be invited up to Providence, RI to read from ABC’s of Anarchy at a relatively new community space. However, as the weekend approached, my wife and I were very worried about our 13 hour drive up with our 1 1/2 year old. We would be leaving on Thursday night at 8:00 PM, driving through the night and arriving in Providence in the morning.
Would our daughter sleep through the car ride? Would we have to stop every hour to rock her back to sleep? Would she cry the whole time? Would we arrive in Providence extremely frustrated, exhausted, and ready to crumble?
It wasn’t just the ride up either, I had booked myself to do a reading in NYC the next day at 1:00 PM, and then another reading a few hours after that. Crumbling was not an option, not with a child to tale care of.
Well, it only took us 14 hours to drive to Providence, and it turned out to be a wonderful experience. We arrived six hours before the reading, so we checked out the space to make sure we knew where it was, and then headed to the water-front so that Maeve could play (well, there was a lot in between about finding a place to crash, worrying that we were going to crumble again…that would be much too long to discuss here).
Maeve walks down stairs without holding on for support for the first time
Maeve played with (amongst) a whole bunch of school kids, and she had a lot of fun. We then found a really cute neighborhood pizza joint to have lunch in, walked around for a bit more, and then drove back over to Libertalia to get ready for the reading.
The people at Libertalia were amazing, I wish I had remembered all of their names, but that is not the case. When we arrived our daughter was asleep, and everyone adjusted their voice levels accordingly, which was really considerate, and something I never would have expected or asked for.
Soon after, Tomas Moniz (of the Rad Dad zine) and Jeremy Smith (of The Daddy Dialectic blog) arrived. I had emailed and spoken with Tomas, since he was gracious enough to include an interview with me in Rad Dad Zine #20, but this reading was the first time I met him in person. The fourth reader was Mike Araujo, who was a part of Libertalia.
Reading ABCs of Anarchy
Before the reading actually began, we unrolled a mat for all of the kids to play on. Libertalia, you see, had the gumption to create a childcare collective called Wild Child Childcare Coopertive. The community that is involved in Libertalia is a very Pro-Child, parent-supportive community, and so this particular reading was a very pro-children reading. Any and all kids that came were encouraged to run, jump, play and just be themselves while the reading took place. It was a complete joy to be around all the joy and happiness, and to see my daughter make so many new friends so quickly.
Reading at Libertalia amongst the wild children!
After the reading, Tomas and Jeremy had to rush off because to make another reading in Cambridge later that evening (I think it was Cambridge, not sure). My wife and kid and I were able to stay back, and hang out with Mike and his son for a bit, and talk about what was going on in Providence.
While it was good for us to just relax with some wonderful people, Maeve also ended up making a new friend as well. At one point, Mikes son Xavier was showing Maeve where the local apple tree was, and Maeve was running ahead shouting back while waving her hand, “Come on Xavie! Come on Xavie!” They all came back with fresh wild apples in their mouths.
So after a 14 hour drive, a full morning and afternoon of running after the kid, and a reading amongst the wild children, I was looking around at the amazing people that I had just met, and felt rejuvenated.
Thank you Libertalia!