On Tuesday the boys went to spend a couple days with their cousin Eli at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. While they were gone I had big plans for all the things I would accomplish. And I got almost all of them done! I napped, slept late, made no real meals, had everyone eat on the living room floor picnic style ’cause the dining room table was too full of unfinished projects… it was awesome. Oh! And the girls and I took advantage of our entirely feminine household (while the Papi was gone at work, of course) and did some girly things. We went to the Porter County Fair. We were able to meet up with some friends there and had a fun, fun time. The girls had never been on rides before, and it had been a long time for me. I’m not sure who was more excited, them or me. I do love a fair. I learned some things, to boot.
That I am still undecided which is scarier – creepy, skinny, druggy uncaring carnies, or skinny, tan, uncaring German teenagers running your rides. Not sure if it’s a trend, but we found that the people running the rides were overwhelmingly teenage, overwhelmingly German and overwhelmingly didn’t care/couldn’t answer questions or explain rules. It gave every ride a delicious sense of danger. When I ask them how to adjust the seatbelt, will they reply, “liebe mein affe monkey!” Will they be able to help us when the whole thing falls apart? Will they know to call 911, or will they just break into a silent and sullen rendition of a Sprockets dance? Who knows and who cares! We’re at the fair!
That Josie is a miniature me when it comes to rides. I think she’s a mini me in a lot of ways, which may be why we clash quite a bit. I don’t really look forward to her teenage years because I don’t really want to deal with myself yet again as a teenager. There are aspects of the Joser’s personality that drive me CRAZY. And you know what? They are the same things that drive me crazy in myself. But! Back to the fair! Josie rode every ride she could get on. She was nervous at first. We started with the Ferris Wheel and worked our way up to the Inverter. She couldn’t get enough, anxious to try certain rides again and again. The centrifugal force ride? You know, the one where you lean against a wall and it spins faster and faster until you are pasted to the wall and the floor drops out from under you? Josie loved it. Six times she loved it.
That I am old and my stomach cannot handle the centrifugal force ride. The Inverter? Yes. The one where you sit facing out and it goes high up in the air in a big ol’ circle, much like the viking ship rides? I can do those. Anything that spins in a very fast circle makes me want to hurl. Ok. Actually makes me hurl. But just a little bit. Nothing large and dramatic. Just enough to be embarrassing. Walk it off, rinse your face, and muscle on. Because who cares if you puke?!! We’re at the fair!
That Elia is very much like her Papi both in personality and in skepticism of fair rides. Maybe that’s why Elia and I get along so well. I married her Papi, after all, so people who are like him are easy for me to deal with. She is gentle and kind and allows me to have my way… wait. Are we talking Elia or the husband? Moving on…. Back to the Fair! Too many times yesterday Elia looked at me with a face that said, Really?! Really?!! Do you really think I will like being strapped into a machine that turns me in fast circles while upside down and side ways? For a long time? Do I look like I want to do that? Really? In her defense, she did try quite a few rides. She started at the Ferris Wheel, just like Jose and me, and found she enjoyed the centrifugal force ride – just once – and loved the bumper cars. Her favorite, favorite ride was the Tilt-a-Whirl.
That the imagination is a powerful thing. Ever since I was a child, what made fair rides so fun was that delicious sense of fear. All the creaks and pings and rusty chain noises were terrifying music to my ears. Each and every ride brought with it a sense that you might just die. Right Now. And who doesn’t love that? We went on a “scary pirate” ride yesterday, that was not scary in the least. Unless of course you have read a a few too many horror stories and allow your imagination to wander in the land of the horrifying. We sat in our little car and slowly, sloooowly crept through the clanging metal doors into darkness. There was an overly loud tape playing sounds of chains and OoOOoOoos, and difficult to decipher mean sounding voices. But that was it. Nothing jumped out, nothing grabbed you, nothing dripped on you. There were a couple of moments when a red light came on, and I imagine something was supposed to happen, but this ride was tired. The monster mannequins were taking a break in the back room, smoking, drinking Diet Coke and telling stories about their rough mornings. They were not about to come running just because a red light lit up. Who do we think we are? But we didn’t need mannequins. I had my imagination, which was plenty scary enough. And I might have grabbed the Elia tightly by the shoulder from behind, which brought out a scream. But don’t tell her that, I blamed the spooky ride…
I didn’t learn, I remembered, that my girls are a lot of fun to be with. If you remove us from the pressures of home and getting along with brothers, we relax. If you take Mama away from her chores and meal prep and facebook, she’s actually a lot of fun. I learned that when we relax and just enjoy each other we have a great time. Maybe I can learn to relax and just enjoy my kids more often. Even without the fair.