Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Childhood Must-Do: A Day at the Circus

There are certain things that make a childhood complete: cotton candy, trips to the zoo, flying a kite, building a fort…. Going to the circus.  In a random conversation last week, my son and younger daughter mentioned that they had never been to the circus.  What? They are 12 and 9 years old, how could that be? They shrugged, repeated the comment, and their older sisters concurred.

Were my children telling me that we haven’t been to the circus in nine years?  Apparently, that’s what they were saying.  To right this situation, I said, “Well, the next time the circus is in town, we’re going.”  There. Good mom.

“Mom, the circus is in town now.”
“Yeah. It’s in town this weekend.”

Note to moms: check the newspaper before making big ole’ good mom promises.

Enjoy a day at the Greatest Show on Earth
I’m sure you can imagine how easy it is to fit anything into the middle of a weekend in a life that is pretty much a six-ring circus on any given day.  But we made it – and I was even surprised by a big discount for taking the Metro, quieting my normal grumble about how much it costs to ferry children on mass transportation.

We had a great time, eating too much popcorn and cotton candy, laughing at the clowns and oohing-and aahing at the all the amazing acts of the Greatest Show on Earth.

If you haven’t been to the circus in a while, here’s a few reminders of why you should go.
The elephants!  They’re huge and wear those pretty banners and parade around the ring and stand on their back legs and you wonder, how do they do that?!  If you haven’t heard, their career’s are short-term at this point.  Ringling Bros. announced that they were ending the elephant acts in 2018.  They will retire to the circus Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida.  In the meantime, hurry up and go see them at the circus.

The ringmaster! How cool would it be, when someone asked you at a cocktail party what you did for a living, ready to one-up you on whatever you said and you answered “I’m the circus Ringmaster!”  Who could beat that?  Maybe an astronaut.  Or the President of the United States.  But there’d be a short list. Because, it’s got to be an ultra-cool job where folks aren’t going to say, “yeah, my cousin is one of those.” And – it’s got to be something almost no one else can claim as their job. And – it’s got to be a job where you get to wear sparkling jackets and knee-high boots.  CEO? There’s hundreds. NFL player – thousands.  Stripper – not unique at all.  Miss Universe – maybe she’s a contender.  But Ringmaster of the Ringling Bros. Circus? There are currently only 3 and there have only been 38 in the circus’ long history.

Popcorn & cotton candy!  I know, it’s salty and sugary and two huge bags at one sitting is not healthy for child nor parent, but hey – it’s just this one time.  Enjoy!

The trapeze folks!  If I ever ran away and joined the circus, this is what I would want to do. Fly through the air with the greatest of ease and then jump down to the super-duper trampoline net.  These people make you ooh and ahh and hold your breath as they amazingly fly over and catch the other bar or person’s hand.  I love it.

Those motorcycles in a ball!  My son loved this part, and it’s such a boy thing, right? Motorcycles, engines roaring, gravity-defying, life-threatening danger.  I’m keeping my eye out for any large round things showing up in my yard.

The cats! As amazing as they are, ever since the terrible incident with Siegfried and Roy, we’re on edge because these cats really could get tired of all these tricks and try to eat the cat guy. Of course, we hope that doesn’t happen, but in a corner of our minds, we’re bracing for it.  When we went, one of the cats did seem to get a bit like she had her own plans of how the show should go and I was ready to grab my children and run if one of those cats got loose.  The excitement of the circus!

(Yes, I've used a lot of exclamation points!! in this post because talking about the circus requires it!)

And just in case you can’t make it, you can always read about the circus. A couple great circus-themed books: The Night Circus, Waterfor Elephants, and of course, Curious George Goes to the Circus.

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Robyn Bourne said...

You forgot my fave. ..clowns packed inside the Volkswagon Beetle. Loved that when I was kid.

Mommyx4 said...

ha ha!! this year they had the clowns in a hot air balloon!