I blog a lot about camping and festivals over at www.tentsandfestivals.co.uk but this post needs to be here.
I've been taking DD to festivals since she was about 7. And she loves them, she loves the music, the dancing, the food, the people, the dressing up, the not washing, the chaos, the queues, the weather....she loves them for all the things that make them a festival so it shouldn't be a surprise to me that when her friend asked if she wanted a spare ticket to Wildlife Festival she leapt at the chance.
DD is 15. Her friends are a similar age. The festival was a two day affair but did not involve camping, so she'd sleep over at her friend's house, and her friend's parents would be taking them, and while they wouldn't all stay together in the festival itself, it all seemed pretty tame and safe. So at midday on Saturday, clad in short shorts a crop top, black and silver wellingtons and shades, my daughter, now looking at least 17, set off for the festival.
At 3pm I sent her a text hoping she was having fun. My internal monologue was saying
don't text her, she's fine, she doesn't want to be fussed by her mum, what could have happened in 3 hours? nothing that's what, leave her alone, the sun is shining, she's fine
At 5pm I sent her a text saying I hoped she wasn't too cold. (She did pack a jumper)
internal monologue : she's fine, she didn't reply because she's having fun, she's with her mates, she hasn't been raped and left for dead behind the portaloos,stop it! where did that thought come from, she's fine, good grief, give it a rest, stop texting her.
At 10pm I went to bed, I sent a text to say good night and would she text when she got back to her mates...so I knew she was alive.
internal monologue : well now you've blown it, she'll know you are worried, you've spoiled her day, her friends will think you are nuerotic and she'll hate you, but what if she's taken dodgy drugs and is in the hospital even now? for goodness sake her friends mum would have text you, go to sleep!
Waking at 3am I glance at my phone ...no reply.
Internal monologue : go to sleep, she's not dead...she's probably dead, you'll blame yourself about this forever, go to sleep she's fine.
at 8am my phone buzzes ...text "Sorry we got back at midnight, had an ace time, we were right at the front by the barrier, best festival ever, can't wait for more today"