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