Today marks the 5th year that Stroller Hikes joins forces with Blossom Birth, at their 6th Annual family picnic and information fair. The names have changed over the years – Blossom Family Fun Day was a recent name – and now we’re on to Birth and Family Fair, which has such a cute logo that I’m sure it’s here to stay. The first year of the picnic was all about many of my Blossom mom-and-me yoga buddies wanting to put together a fundraiser for this Palo Alto nonprofit, as a way to say “thanks” for the tireless, creative, selflessly altruistic support and resource center Blossom Birth was and continues to be, to this day. That first year, families congregated in a local park and sold simple barbeque and family-friendly healthy foods, while the kids played and the parents socialized.
Since then, the festival has grown to be a substantial informational fair, with booths from local and regional midwives, lactation consultants, physical therapists and chiropractors, Eastern Medicine practitioners, crafters, sporting good providers, and a whole lot more, including food trucks this year. Sports Basement has been there since the beginning, and has always donated amazing raffle prizes, and Michal the Milkman has always brought huge tubs of Clover Ice Cream, that can be doused with any number of toppings in a sundae bar. And Stroller Hikes provides an obstacle course every year, each year a little better than the year before. Our other constant is Andy Z – this wonderful children’s musician sings, dances, raps, and gets the kids up and moving. Unfortunately, he’s ill, but Blossom’s line-up is more diverse than ever, and while I’ll certainly miss Andy, the festival will not lack for entertainment in music, dance, magic, crafts, orchestrated pillow-fights from Hand In Hand Parenting, and more.
Laying in bed thinking about the festival, which runs from 10 AM to 3 PM today, I couldn’t help but marvel at the big leaps Blossom Birth has taken over the years, to expand this celebration, while they continue to keep sight of what they are here to do in their community – help expecting, new, and growing families (and even those hoping to get pregnant or adopt). I feel honored to live in a place where there are community resources that cost nothing or very little for the consumer, and when the consumer comes to take advantage of them, they don’t feel much like a consumer at all. Going to Mom and Baby Yoga, Infant Massage, Prenatal Yoga, Sibling Expectancy Class, Infant CPR, Slings and Things Class, and Lactation Support, I immediately felt welcomed, as a new friend, and never felt like it was my money that was wanted. I made friends, learned a lot about myself, my children, and the course topic, and left feeling warmer, lighter, and better equipped as a parent. Since then, I make it a habit to donate my nice used baby stuff to Blossom for their resale shop, and if Mora (their president) asks, I am all ears to help as an individual or representative of Stroller Hikes.
Today I’ll have the honor of filling the dining room of All Saints Church with Stroller Hikes’ obstacle course, then watch older kids whiz around from obstacle to obstacle, and younger kids get a little help from their parents on the balance beam, through the tunnel, pushing the stroller through the slalom course, fishing for ducks, jumping over (rubber) snakes, searching for (plastic) bugs, and more. A parent the other day coined “no child left inside,” which is similar to Stroller Hikes mission. But following the lead of Blossom, which was so helpful when Stroller Hikes was starting out six years ago, I’ll take “help me, help you.” Support our mamas and daddies with free resources. Show them how easy and non-intimidating outdoor recreation (or balancing on a balance beam, crawling through a tunnel, leaping over snakes…) can be, and help them enjoy parenting, so they have more energy to nurture the little lives before them.
Hope to see you at the Baby and Family Fair today! Details in This Weeks Events, below.
Debbie (President and Founder), Max (6), Holly (2), and Andrew