Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Greatest Show On Earth

Last year I took Strother to the circus when he was two. Ever since, he has been asking me, on a weekly basis, to take him back to see the animals. I've had to wait a whole year to grant his request.

Now I don't know what it is about little boys and the circus, but they're all over it. The more lions, tigers, and elephants, the better. So when I saw the sign advertising the Shrine Circus I couldn't get to the ticket window fast enough.

Not to worry that I had plans to be on vacation. I only had a one afternoon window to get it in. You can bet I was not going to take a chance on it being sold out.

No worry there. Saturday dawned cold and rainy, but we were not to be daunted. Putting on our jackets and rain gear we sludged our way to the big top. It's not really a big top, it's in the colesium, but we pretend it's a big top. Weighted down with bottles of water for dehydration, purell for protection from the H1N1, a darth vadar sword to turn on when the lights were out, and cotton candy to give us a sugar high, we made our way to the center ring.

This year I outdid myself. My seats were perfect. As the circus parade began I looked around. The stadium was probably half full but the enthusiasm of the children was on full throttle. From an adult's perspective, the costumes were dingy, the animals lacking, and the scarcity of acts and performers appaling. It put a pallor on the whole afternoon.

But from a kid's perspective, it was the greatest show on earth. Strother hooped and he hollered. He laughed and clapped. Turning his darth vadar sword off and on at appropriate times, he "oohed" and "aahed" as each animal passed by. He cheered each performance with the exhuberance of an olympic gold medal run. To him it was a great success.

Big top or small top, colesium or tent, kids like a circus. They don't see what we see. They see what they want to see. Through the eyes of a child, the circus was a great success, truly the greatest show on earth!

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