the one where we had so much to do, we went to the fair instead. and didn’t die.

Have you ever had so much on your to do list, that there just weren’t enough hours in the day? You looked around, and realized you were kind of missing out on life?

That’s been happening to us for quite a few weeks now. I struggle with letting go.

So yesterday, despite a filthy house, projects on our list, a post to write and an ebook to polish (I’m not even touching the Mount Vesuvius of laundry lurking in our closet) we decided to throw the towel in (for a little while, anyway) and took our kids to the fair.

It’s one of my very favorite memories as a child, and I’m big on traditions. This is one grand procrastination event I don’t regret. Not one bit.

There’s just something so nostalgic about the lights, and the leftover 80’s glitter on all those rides. The cotton candy. The food. The smelly livestock and creepy, thrown-together ferris wheel (that might at any moment, pull a final destination part 25 and end in some horrible self-rolling catastrophe. (Why yes, that was the ultimate thought derailment. Pun intended. It’s just where my mind goes now that I’m a mom.)) Nothing like a couple of potential tetanus-infused dramas to get my blood pumping again. It’s this beautiful combination of awesome memories… And creepy side show what-ifs that I love.

We even split a nine dollar gargantuan corn dog to celebrate the revelry. I’m livin’ large, and on Monday we’ll be taking out a second mortgage on the house.

Jamin put Malone on this little jewel of a ride. He was begging. I told Jamin it was a bad idea, and then threatened him within an inch of his life to hold on to him. Do you SEE that lap bar, people?

Check out the other two, while Daddy tries to distract… and Malone’s face as he buries it. And Emerson’s Walmart feet because she was wearing flip flops. Completely hysterical. Not the funny kind.

I was even brave and rode a few with the kids. I was once the roller coaster queen. We’re talking day-long bouts at the local Six Flags, arms in the air, disembodied equilibrium hard core rider. Now I can barely sit through a kiddie ride without the urge to purge and a horrible back ache.

First I was all, wheeeeeeeeeeee! Then I was all….

I’m old.

I’m not really sure why all three children decided to gang up and squish mommy. Particularly when fresh air was hard to come by in a gigantic creepy bear sarcophagus. I was at their mercy, and they were holding on to a wheel that controlled the spinning. I think I cut a deal pertaining to no cleaning up legos for a week. Or a shopping spree at Toys R Us. Something. I don’t remember. Everything was moving.

But beyond the rotating glitter motorcycles, and those trad, slightly creepy clown funhouses, they’ve upped the ante. That is my child in a floating ball on water. I want a pool, just so I can spend my summer in one of these. It’s like hamster balls for kids. Perfect. (Except I’m trying to ignore the fact that he probably has the flu now because that’s a ball full of warm air that probably contains all the flu germs. See how torn I am? I’m such a jinxing funsucker homebody. Did I tell you we spent an entire winter with the voms, and then realized it was because of our frequenting the local Burger King playground in the winter? Just sayin. We stopped going, and they stayed well. We’re less likely to turn into zombies when that big zombie apocalypse happens that I’ve been waiting for. Avoid the enclosed playgrounds, in the winter people.) Digression.

We saw the livestock. Took in all the sights. It was one of the most fun nights we’ve had in a long time.

You know those people with the overstimulated, screaming kids at 8:30 pm on a school night? The ones with the kids who aren’t tall enough to ride a certain attraction, and want to go in three different directions? The ones holding massive blow up prizes the size of their house, and preserving those stupid free balloons they hand out, and the parents are on edge because they know if one escapes, it will be the end of the last bit of sanity they’re holding on to due to the ultimate meltdown? The ones with the mom who has crazy hair and a frumpled shirt because she has static electricity, and all three kids have skinned knees because at some point, all three of them fell and now everyone is staring at them? That was us. And I was reminded that our kids are still very young, and even that was okay. Because sometimes, it’s fun to do something beyond the norm.

Meh, I’d rather have the crying kids than spewing ones.

So we bought them a giant cookie to split, and called it a day. Yep. They had a giant cookie for dinner. Because they passed out in the car ride, on the way home.

It’s nights like these, of fun and lights and glitter and overstimulated, sugar-overdosed screaming children, without the flu who survived a potential rogue ferris wheel catastrophe that memories are made of.

Life is short, and I don’t intend to spend it all, working.

Do you guys go to the fair? What are some of your own favorite memories? Have an amazing Friday, friends!

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Responses to the one where we had so much to do, we went to the fair instead. and didn’t die.

  1. Bethany says:

    Awesome. I haven’t been to a fair in a few years, but you reminded me of a lot that I do and don’t miss about it. It’s funny when the spotlight of your fear suddenly changes your focus from the scary rides to the feasibly inebriated ride operators. It’s worth the health and safety risks…right?

  2. Tiffany says:

    My parents used to pay me NOT to go because they hated it–ha! Now that I’m all grown up, I kind of want to go again (and maybe even without my little one)!

  3. Emma Huffs says:

    I adore this, and I am the very same way when it comes to fairs and carnivals. They seem to have this seedy edge with lots of fun piled on top. But they are the perfect place for cherished memories. We have a lot of those, as well. It’s not every day you get to go to the fair! How fun!

  4. michelle says:

    Oh you are so cute and funny!!! Amen to it all! Sometimes you just have to go and have some fun, there is always going to be something that is trying to pull you back from living your real full happy life. Good for you guys! I caught myself biting my fingernails and smiling too about Malone and the lap bar…it was like a flashback to our last trip to Disneyland that had me running back and forth outside the ride in a complete unproductive frenzy. All I can say is my 5 year old was determined to get out and my husband was smiling at the sky in complete ignorant bliss. Dumbo is a really scary elephant I guess. Thank you so much for being such a happy positive influence! Luv ya, girl!

  5. looks like you guys had a blast!!

  6. Maria says:

    I loved the fair growing up, as our kids do now, but I try to shoot for about once every 3 yrs. Because I’m pretty sure going to Disney World and staying in a deluxe resort would be less expensive. So last year I was going to be cool mom and take four 9-11 year old boys on a Fri nite (and secretly spy on my 13yr old who went with friends and is totally boy crazy). I was cool, until I actually puked 30 seconds into The Spider, my one ride of the night . Luckily this is not an enclosed attraction and no one was below me. That sure gave the boys a memory…

    • NO you didn’t! I DIE! My brother puked on that same ride a few years ago. Priceless! I would say that is my worst nightmare, but I’ve already vommed at my sister’s wedding, so I’m pretty sure I understand what it feels like to do such a thing in public. How miserable!!! Glad no one was standing below. I realized last night that I feel really sorry for the carnival workers. They have got to have it the worst!

  7. Alli says:

    Sounds like a wonderful time, makes me want to pack up our kids and go find one! ha! I think the best times are the times when you do the unexpected, break out of normal and just enjoy the moment.

  8. Pamelotta says:

    My husband and I did the unthinkable this year when the fair came to town…we didn’t go! (gasp!) My son got invited to go with a friend and my other kids went with grandma. We were in shock when it dawned on us that we had gotten out of it. It’s one of those traditions that had become like a ball and chain. Not to mention setting us back some serious dinero.

    I will miss the pictures, though. Yours are awesome!

  9. Shalagh says:

    So completely happy for you and your kids and your husband. Your paranoia, your humor are fantastic, amusing, and recognizable. I’m glad that for one magical evening you convinced yourself, “Life is short, and I don’t intend to spend it all, working.” Thank you for the lovely pictures as well.

  10. Mercedes says:

    fun. Fun. FUN!
    Both your adventure (I think) and your writing.
    Thanks for the laughs.

  11. Amy says:

    The MS state fair is going on now, and we went on Sunday. I agree that Disney is cheaper than the fair! My kids make it a mission to ask for food at Every.Single.Cart we pass! Surprisingly they only wanted to play games & skip rides this year! $20 each- much cheaper than riding rides! :)

  12. emily hope says:

    so funny! we did the exact same thing yesterday. all day. fair with 4 kids. I think we’ll be recovering for the next 2 years. while we don’t eat – due to the fact that it cost 10 bajillion dollars and we have no money left to live on 😉

  13. Melanie says:

    Good choice to go to the fair; there’s always things to do! I have four adult children and many sweet memories of taking them to the fair. Looking at your pictures brought many fond memories to mind. Thanks!

  14. alaina says:

    Our county fair is in our hometown every year and we Eat It Up! My 5 year old son, when asked what he wanted to be when he grows up, confidently and most assuredly chimed in, ” I want to be a CARNY!” I’m not sure where he had even heard that word or if he knows what it means, but we still laugh about it (and pray that that not be the case 😉