My mom bought the kids and I tickets to the Merriweather and Culpepper circus. While I am not a circus fan, I knew the kids would have a good time. It rivaled Christmas, they were so excited. We opted for the 5:00 showing and showed up just after 4:00 to enjoy the "Fun for All Ages!" midway. As we approached the field, the tent loomed into view and I realized why they push "pre-sale" tickets. If you were to see it before buying tickets, you wouldn't buy any.
The tent was a wreck; filthy and ratty, filled with holes and more patches than original material. And the midway? Non-existent. Then it started to rain and a thunderstorm warning was issued. They canceled the 5:00 showing and re-scheduled it for 7:30.
We took sad kids back to my mom's house, 20 minutes away. The rain let up and we headed back to the tent of doom. Walking to the tent, you could suddenly hear the roars of the big cats and Sam started crying. Delaney stopped walking, screamed that she was going back to the car and started crying. So, I ended up carrying two crying kids into the tent. Inside, the poor tent's condition was even more apparent and the bleachers were covered with water from the leaks. Nick immediately starting begging for a cheap, plastic light stick. Or an expensive blowup animal. Or...or... I bought him cotton candy so he'd stop talking. The show started and they had a lion and 2 tigers that kept spraying everything, a juggler, unicycles, a clown, a girl on a trapeze (Delaney said, in awe "She's wonderful!"), a girl with hula hoops, ponies, peanuts...circus stuff. We had conveniently chosen seats directly behind a support pole and a lot of neck contortion was required. A little girl in back of me kept hitting me in the head with her blow up snake. Accidentally, I'm sure.
Sometimes, I wish I was little again. To be able to overlook the tawdry and crass and see the magic beyond the ratty tent. I failed miserably. At least Delaney and Sam enjoyed themselves. Nick is still mad at me because I wouldn't buy a light stick...