Saturday, September 1, 2007

It's not "fair"

Our youngest child made a decision that would change our lives forever. He decided that he didn't want to go to the fair with us (Mommy and Daddy). He wanted to go with his friends (and was plenty old enough to do so). At first I was sad, and then I told my husband, "Hey, this will be cool. It's the first time in more than 20 years that we'll get to go to the fair without kids."

The fair is a big deal in our town, we take it very seriously. In fact, so many students are involved in showing their animals- horses, cows, goats, bunnies, chickens, piglets- that school is canceled for a day so that they can do so.

So my husband and I got ready to go. There were no bottles to pack, no stroller or water bottles for a family of five. No worries about weather, no sweatshirts in case it gets chilly in the evening. And when we got there, we didn't have to stand in line for tickets to get on the various rides. We didn't have to stand watching over our children. No trips to the huge barn where the animals are displayed. And no trips to the public bathrooms, that I'd rather not know exist. We were finally on our own.

And it was terrible.

No little voice said, "Mommy I wanna go see the cows." No standing around the merry-go-round, trying to get my childs attention on each swirl past me. When I saw something fun, there was no one to say, "Hey, look at that clown." to. Well, I tried telling my husband but he just kept walking. The fair wasn't fun without a child to take along.

We tried to make the best of it. Surely we just needed to find our place as adults at the fair. So we walked around, looking at displays of school art, and prize-winning vegetables. We watched country western singers and square dancers. "Let's go see the cows." I said to my husband, to which he replied, "Why?" And I had to agree. There was no reason to ooh and aah over the enormity of those creatures. So we did what apparent adults like us always do. We headed for the food.

"Remember how Brian always had to have a foot-long hotdog?" I asked.

"Yeah." My husband said. "And Sophie too."

We laughed at the thought of our now-vegetarian daughter biting into a hot dog.

We walked by each of the concession stands, reading the menus. And then we left. We went to an uptown restaurant and ate sadly, a very good meal.

Total Time Spent at the Fair: 1.5 hours
Total Money Spent: $12
Realization That All Those People Who Said, "Enjoy them (children) while they're young...they grow up so quickly" were right: Priceless

Boohoo :(


The Quoibler said...

My son is four and starts pre-K on Tuesday. It's only three half days a week, but I'm saddened by the realization that he'll never be my "little" guy in the same way again.

Geesh. We parents are pathetic creatures, eh? :)


Karen L. Alaniz said...

Yes we are. And since your little one is so...little, my advice is to listen to all those annoying people who say, "Enjoy them while they're young...they grow up sooooooo fast." It's true...and a bit sad too.


Nita said...

My sil one time said kids make it possible for us to act like kids. If 'adults' see us acting weird and then notice a child they just smile and think to themselves, oh they're playing with their child. Same thing at fairs, it's hard to awe at things when all around you are mature thinking adults. Yes, kids make lots of things more fun.

Margie said...

Aww, this story is so touching. I don't have kids yet but I could imagine how sad that must be! But you can't forget to let your "inner child" come out and play every once in a while too, ya know ;-)

Karen L. Alaniz said...

Nita- That's great, and so true. I watched a group of little girls dancing in church one sunday to the worship music and I thought, "We should all be so free and lacking self-consciousness." I'm not sure how to get that back though.

Margie- You are right. Next time I'm going to grab my husbands hand running and yell, "Let's go see the pigs!" And then I'll go to the Fair-Days parade and knock down the kids to get the candy that's thrown from the "floats." OK...maybe I won't go that far.

Thanks for the comments...this is definitely fun!


Jennifer said...

Oh my gosh that was the world most depressing post. Well done but too sad for me... I'll go find something funny now.

Anonymous said...

ohhhhhhh! this is way too cute!:)

Karen L. Alaniz said...

What? Me? Depressing? How did that happen? C'mon Jennifer-you just wait. Your little guy will get there and then you'll be all sad and depressed too!

Your comment made me really sad. Way to go! You depressed me even more. (hehehe)

Evelyn-glad you stopped by!