Sunday, May 27, 2012


yesterday we had a carnival.  today we have the circus.  

while leaving our neighborhood yesterday to get to the train station, we pedaled past the field adjacent to the super best, which had, overnight, sprouted orange and yellow tents and trailers and campers.

the circus had come to town.

"maybe we should go," i suggested hopefully to greg.  i have mixed feelings about circuses.  it's where i staged my first protest of memory-- as a kid, refusing to applaud during any of the animal acts, because they looked so humiliated, or i felt humiliated, watching them do silly tricks for a laughing audience.  and yet, it's the circus.  doesn't every kid have to go to the circus at some point?  plus, i like the idea of watching the acrobats do seemingly impossible tricks, or at least tricks that are certainly impossible for everyone who is not an acrobat. though today it felt like they were not getting nearly the appreciation they deserved.  like a standing ovation, or higher wages (of course i've no idea how much they're paid), or a grander stage to show off their talents.  but yesterday evening as we rode home from the train station they were all sitting outside around a table, eating leisurely and seeming to enjoy being together on a warm, spring night.  it kind of made me want to join the circus.  i'm easily moved.

greg suggested i take william, making the good point that henry probably would not sit still for it.  "it's here for two days," i said.  "i can take him tomorrow, you can take him on monday!"

"that's okay," he said. "i really don't need to go to the circus."  he doesn't have that gene i have that makes me excited to sit passively and be entertained by a performance, a graduation, a wedding.

so, decision made.  this afternoon, we walk down the street, to see william's first circus...

we wander the grounds before the show begins.  alas, even this small circus comes with animals... sigh.  i'll take up my protest.
goose and gander circus performers

goat circus performer

on the way into the tent, william shows me his ticket...

inside the tent...

the circus...

intermission.  it's hot inside the tent.  everyone is heading for the refreshment stand.  william sees a boy with a red slushie.  "mama, i want one of those."  this is the circus.  you make exceptions for healthy eating at circuses, carnivals, baseball games, and swimming pools.  "okay," i say.  "it looks like they have blue, red, or purple. which color would you like?"  "purple," says william.  i ask the woman for a purple slushie.  she is confused and i don't know if it's because she only speaks danish and i have spoken to her in english or for some other reason.  she points to the blue.  "no, the purple," i say, pointing.  "we have blue, red, and black."  "black?" i think.  "what is black?  black licorice?"  "william, do you want black?"  he doesn't hear my question over the noise of the crowd, which is getting antsy for their own slushies.  "okay, sure, we'll take black," i decide.  when we get it, it is more like brown.  much more.  "can i try that?" i ask him.  cola flavored.  crud.  he's never had coke.  does this count?  it's not carbonated.  i don't know if it's caffeinated, but it's certainly possible given that he's lying on the couch whispering to himself as i type this at 9:40 p.m., having already tried and failed on account of his own restlessness, to fall asleep in the darkened bedroom.

intermission mistake

back inside, second half...

as we leave, i ask him which part of the circus he enjoyed a lot.  "popping the bubbles," he said.

if i am easily moved... he is easily entertained.  in his case, i'll take that as a good thing.  meanwhile, i will promise not to run away with the circus when it leaves town tomorrow night.

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