by Aaron Neilson-Belman
A little over three-weeks ago I set out from Toronto, Canada in the Hippie Van with my friends Yana and Germaine as well as my Mother.
Over the past three weeks I have probably heard the exclamation, “You’re bringing your mother to Burning Man!?” at least a couple dozen times. Some inquirers were amazed my mother would want to come to Burning Man and others were amazed that I would want to bring her along.
After my first Burn in 2011, I told both my parents that I wanted them to come to Burning Man the next time I went. In my post What is Burning Man Anyway!?!? I mention that Burning Man has something for everyone. And I truly meant it. So I invited both my parents.
Unfortunately my father had been dealing with kidney stones during the month or two leading up to the burn and he decided to opt out this time around. However my mother dove right in, and decided to hop in the hippie van and come on the first couple weeks of the adventure with me.
Although my mom and I bumped heads on a few things (mainly her back-seat-driving), it was great to have her along for both the first couple weeks of the road trip as well as Burning Man. She didn’t get naked (that I know of), but she had no problem finding lots of activities at the burn to keep her engaged and entertained. We even did a bunch of things together like the Balinese Monkey Chant circle, sitting in on a few talks, the burning of the man, our camps communal dinners, a few other events and even an electronic dance party at the infamous Distrikt sound camp.
After the burn we drove to San Francisco and stayed with my cousin for a few days before I saw my mother off to the airport so she could fly back to Toronto. I am now riding solo for the time being.
All-in-all I think we both took a lot away from the experience and I think I have a new found appreciation for my moms open minded attitude and willingness to try new things. If I can pull any advice from this experience, it would be to try and include your parents in events you might not typically think to include them in. Not everyones parents are going to be up for something as crazy as Burning Man, but I think a lot of parents would love the opportunity to be included in some of there young adults activities. I am truly grateful for having this experience and hope to have many more in mine and my parents lifetime.
(Originally posted on Aaron’s blog)