The Fair and The Show

Another wonderful post from Megan at homemade time:

I felt exasperated. I stood in the middle of the fair and looked at Bea with her missing teeth, her dirty feet in plastic flip flops, her big pleading eyes, and some stubborn angry part of myself abruptly gave way. I asked her what snack we should get.

She lit up. Kettle corn!!

I bought a big bag. We walked out of the fair, into the quieter park that surrounded it, and decided to sit under a tree just on the periphery of the action. We settled on the damp grass as darkness fell, Beatrice finally relaxed and leaning against me, sharing an open bag of sweet and salty popcorn and watching unseen as our friends and neighbors walked in and out of the fairground. She said, Mama, this is the best part of the fair. I’m having such a good time with you.

I smiled. It definitely was. It was as if I finally accepted that we don’t quite belong in the midst of all those lights and games and happy families. Rather than force our participation in something that felt wrong, we took our place in the dusky outer edge. I watched with a kind of contented sadness as couples we know whose children are off at college walked by hand in hand, aglow with nostalgia for fairs gone by, and younger families we know wrangled their exhausted toddlers into strollers, and all of it was happening over there, lit up by the rides and games, away from us, sitting among the safe, sturdy roots of a very old tree in the dark.

homemade time: the fair and the show