As summer draws to a close, my girls and I joined hundreds of other families in an annual ritual this past weekend…we went to the county fair. This year we decided to go with another family, bringing our totals to 3 adults and 5 kids. An excellent idea! The girls and I had the most fun I think we have ever had at a fair (they are at the perfect ages right now).
The day started off miserably hot and humid, so I was thinking of just skipping it. But this was the last day of the fair this year, so there wouldn’t be another chance to wait for a cooler day, and since we would be in the company of such fun friends, I decided to give it a whirl.
When we got there, I could feel the sweat just rolling down my back. We walked into the gate and immediately wandered right into the area where you can view everyone’s prize winning ducks, chickens, turkeys and the oh so sweet bunny rabbits. Instant pleasure. Four little girls all cooing at the bunnies. The only male child with us held his cool. But I could see that he did find the turkeys and chickens fascinating. After our trip through the bunnies, I got about five minutes of, “I want a bunny”. But we got passed it and moved on to the rides. I do not ride fair rides any longer. As I’ve gotten older, my fear has gotten bigger. Maybe I’ve just heard of too many accidents. Maybe it’s just my imagination. Whatever it is….I just don’t ride. Lucky for me, my friend, mom #2, rides all the rides. So the uneven number of kids was evened up, and I watched as the six of them jumped on as many rides as they could. Until the rain came in.
Now at first I was thinking, “NO!” There are “no rain checks, no refunds” for the fair…just like the last amusement park I took my kids too and we got rained out of. But thanks to the modern wonders of smart phones, we watched the radar and saw that the rain should be short, and it was. There was a large storm, but it stayed just to the south of us. The rain we received was a blessing, in several ways: everything cooled off tremendously; the crowds were thin for a little while; and as an added bonus, we got to see some of the most beautiful works of art in the sky from the setting sun – providing me with some awesome photographs (*including the one above).
Once the rain passed, we were able to resume our fair fun, and the kids tried to ride just about every ride they could. The day moved into night and we ended up being at the fair for 7 1/2 hours! At 11 pm we decided to call it a night. The kids were still energized and wanted more. We parents…well we were at the point of limping from walking around on concrete for so long. If my feet didn’t ache so badly, I could have stayed on longer. There was still so much we didn’t get to see.
As we drove home, my daughter Virginia said she didn’t think the fair was fun for me. I asked her why she thought that. Her reply…because I didn’t ride any rides. My sweet child. How can I explain to her that I had the most fun I have ever had at any fair since my own childhood. The simple joy of being there with my children and watching them have so much fun was all I needed. I can’t explain this to her. That is something she won’t understand until she has children of her own. Then she will know a mother’s joy – but hopefully not for a long, long time.
I hope next year is just as fun….and that daddy can join us.