Last night I went to the circus.
My sister, J, and I headed out to take in the show and I realized it had been approximately thirty-five (ish) years since I had enjoyed a “real” circus, if you don’t count the much smaller-scale Shrine Circus that my father-in-law participated in when he was a clown named Jingles. (And I don’t.) Even that was about eighteen years ago.
As the circus–the one known as “The Greatest Show On Earth’–started and seventeen-year-old J had the look on his face of being really impressed with the amazing acts (rather than the “I’m a teenager and I really don’t belong here” face), I suddenly felt like I had been remiss in part of my parenting duties by never taking the boys to this circus. I’ve had plenty of opportunities; we just never went. (It’s quite possible that J’s fear of clowns is from his not seeing them in their “natural environment”.)
I also discovered that J had no memories of the Disney Sing Along “Let’s Go To The Circus” VHS tape that we wore out ages ago. It had been D’s favorite and we literally watched it two or three times daily. In fact, you could stop this video at any point and I could tell you what the next song lyrics would be, no sweat. I couldn’t believe that he didn’t remember it.
When I came home and looked up that video, I found out that it was released in 1994. J was born in 1995. I guess that explains THAT.
Anyway, it was a great night under the big top. I saw a lion that had the same goofy facial expression that Roxie displays sometimes, and was trained much better too. (Julesie: “Just look at all he can get those lions and tigers to do and we can’t even train Roxie.”) We saw cats–household-type cats–walking on balls and doing a rope course. We saw dogs jumping rope. We saw beautiful elephants, daring trapeze artists, skilled gymnasts, motorcyclists zooming around the inside of a huge steel ball, and of course those clowns.
I paid twelve bucks for cotton candy and eight for a box of popcorn (we shared!), but since I had a teenager with me I totally avoided the “I want it nowwwww!” moments that the parents of young kids had to endure at the souvenir booths. I recommend dragging a teenager to a circus for that experience (or lack thereof) in itself. Well, that and the look on the teenager’s face when he sees a motorcycle drive on a heavy-duty wire, high up above the ground. Greatest Show On Earth, indeed.