Way back in May, when the kids and I made our Summer Fun List, Harry wanted "go to the circus" on the list. I was pretty sure that wasn't going to happen. Happily, I was wrong. It turned out, a little family owned circus had set up at the little airport near our house. Kids got in for free, and adult tickets were buy one get one free. So, even though it was a school night, (actually, it was the first day of school!) we set out for a cheap night of family fun under the big top. Also, the previous week, I had finished reading The Night Circus, which made it impossible for me to turn down a chance to go to the circus.
When we first walked up, Cory and I were a little skeptical. Cory kept reminding me of my childhood heartbreak when Circus Vargas set up in the Venture parking lot with promises of a unicorn. It turned out to be a goat with one horn. But Great American Family Circus promised an elephant, not a unicorn, and I was pretty sure that couldn't be faked. The kids were so, so excited. We filed in and sat on the bleachers. They encouraged the kids to sit in the grass surrounding the ring, so Jack and Harry were really close to the action.
Finally, the show started and all of our concerns vanished. As far as I could tell, the performers were all from two families. And several of them were very young (little kids and teenagers.) It atarted with a brother sister juggling act. The boys gasped in amazement when the brother juggled with fire. Addie loved the contortionist, and was mimicking her from the bleachers. She pointed in wide eyed wonder at the "aerial ballerinas." Jack laughed until his tummy hurt at the little boy and girl dressed as a lion and lion tamer (and kept looking back at me to make sure I was watching the hilarity.) Harry's favorite was the ladder act. And we all enjoyed Tiny, the elephant. The ringmaster was funny and genuine. (My favorite part was when he, in a thick what I thought was Russian accent, asked the boys and girls to promise him they wouldn't do drugs or join any gangs. He was really sincere about it.)
The performers were so talented, and I found the whole thing to be charming and a little magical. I think the "running away from the circus" seed has been planted in all three of my kiddos minds and hearts.
One of the aerial ballerinas.
Cotton candy makes everything more fun!
Tiny the elephant!