After I wrote Top 5 Kid-Friendly SXSW Events 2012 and ANOTHER Top 5 Kid-Friendly SXSW Events 2012 people have been asking me about my SXSW for Kids experience, so here is my official review.
Blue Eyes took the kids on Sunday night, so I made it to two events with a girlfriend. The Wonder Women! The Untold Story Of American Superheroines, a Benefit for GENaustin included excerpts from the documentary and a Q&A with the producer and director. It made me think about ways I can encourage my girls to be powerful and strong, especially since they seem biologically and irrevocably attached to the princess story.
After that, we went to Red Eyed Fly for Frey’s Cafe, a gathering of SXSWi folks who tell live, true stories. Do you know that I tell live, true stories? On this night, I didn’t know much about the people or the event, I just did it, in a brave or misguided way, and it didn’t work out too well. I tried to write a non-offensive black humor story. Whatever you do, don’t do that. I was making fun of this stupid dog, that wasn’t even mine, that died in my car. But I also tried to be sweet to the dog, so I wouldn’t offend animal lovers. So people couldn’t tell if I was sad or mad or if it was OK to laugh. Maybe next year I’ll tell the story of last year’s terrible story. 🙂 (Note that this is a picture of a video and I did not post the video. :))
Monday – Tuesday
I went on a vacation to San Antonio with a girlfriend and our combined four little girls, ages 2-4. Leaving town is a valid approach for families during SXSW. The trip was equal parts pure joy and madness. There were too many little girls. I’m not that strong. When I get overwhelmed, I tend to lose my keys/phone/camera/purse/laptop and I continued the tradition, leaving my phone at the hotel Tuesday morning, then leaving it again at a restaurant Tuesday night. I’m lucky I didn’t lose the car. I know in time I will remember the pure joy parts more than the rest, and there were plenty of them.
My girls and I made it to the KUT Live at the Four Seasons for a total of about 20 minutes. We saw a few songs by The Punch Brothers, who were amazing, but after the first song, Sparkles found cilantro in her breakfast taco. I know it is considered a good practice for a chef to add something green for flavor and color, but for some kids he might as well poop on that breakfast taco. Sparkles wouldn’t eat it. She was super mad that they didn’t have cereal, her favorite breakfast at home. She was kicking and screaming and carrying on so we left. This is also a valid approach for families during SXSW.
[Uh, a picture of this would have been cute. I guess I got too relaxed.]
My penciled-in idea for Thursday was Guero’s in the afternoon, but the girls were playing sweetly in the driveway with their babies and cribs and blankets, getting them all to take a nap. After San Antonio and The Punch Brothers, I had started to think I might need to sign-up for The Super Nanny TV show, so I decided that I wasn’t going to mess with a good thing.
This is a picture from me and the girl’s at Roky Erickson’s Ice Cream Social at Threadgill’s. You might look at this and say it looks like Amy’s Ice Creams on Burnet. Well, Friday morning had a new set of surprises that changed our plans, so I punted on SXSW and went for a sure thing. Punting is yet another valid approach for families during SXSW.
We were all there. Me, Blue Eyes, Noel, Sparkles and Buttercup, at Guero’s, free parking in the garage, free live music in the patio, chips, salsa and tacos calling our names, when we got the phone call. The cable guy was on the way to our house. Did he know I was just about to order my favorite margarita in the whole world? It was a type of emergency, though, because we had no Internet at the house, which could be interpreted to be partially or mostly my fault, so I volunteered to leave my possibly only hour of SXSW in 2012 to meet the cable guy. This is a picture of our modem instead of Chris Crump.
I told my Blue Eyes and Noel that I really wanted to see at least one show during SXSW 2012 and given our pending application for The Super Nanny, I could use some help. The five of us went to Moms Rock from Texas M.I.L.K and we saw Elizabeth McQueen. I especially liked the song about chickens which encouraged some inspired dancing. Texas M.I.L.K. did a great job organizing the event for families, with temporary tattoos, art and crafts and a bubble machine for the kids. I couldn’t decide between all the beautiful things from M Squared Jewelry, so I bought two necklaces. It was a sweet, easy and fun time and a perfect send-off for SXSW 2012, with time left in the day to relax, enjoy some time around the house and get ready for the following week.
But, I didn’t do that. I texted a friend and we headed to Peelander-Z at Springfield Farms. It was drizzly, parking wasn’t easy, the lines for ice cream were long and it could have gone bad. But lucky for me, the band was worth it in an over-the-top kind of way, with wild costumes, group limbo, just about everybody drumming and the guitarist jumping out of a tree.
Some might read this review and say it isn’t much of a SXSW review at all, just about everybody in the city saw more SXSW than me, but this is a MOM’S SXSW review and I think it is just as valid. This IS what SXSW for Moms is like. You can’t do it all, you have to go with the flow and you need to really enjoy the times when it all comes together. I can’t wait until next year. See y’all then…