One of the best things about having an 8 year old boy is that he can still find magic in simple things. One of those magical things is springtime carnivals here in my corner of New Jersey. It's become a tradition for JT and I to attend the local carnivals. We go on a school night (which feels hedonistic) and with a plan to eat junk for our supper (carnivals rarely feature fresh fruit and veggies). Our first carnival of the year was a few weeks ago; we arrived just after 6 pm and there was a hint of possible rain in the air. But JT just pulled up his hood and, as we set off across the grass he caught my hand and said, "let's do this thing, Mama." It's easier to find happiness when there's a little boy holding your hand.
We walked through the tiny carnival to check out our options. I'm not a fan of the scary upside down rides at local events like these, but that's okay with JT, who can find plenty of fun on the Indiana Jones jungle gym, the big slide, and the Ferris wheel.
He tried everything with a broad smile on his face. I typically stand by the side and watch as JT takes on the challenge; my pleasure comes from his excitement. But when the time comes to ride the Ferris wheel, that's some fun that we share.
For me, the Ferris wheel is the most magical part of a carnival. The lights shine brightly in the dusk. I love the feel of the ride as it comes around and I have a brief view of the entire carnival for just a moment before I slip downward, only to swing back up and around to see it all again. I love that the Ferris wheel is our special thing; I like that JT sees one and looks to me to share it with him. It brings me happy satisfaction to have those sorts of traditions in our life together.
We had your standard carnival supper ---- cheese fries and funnel cake. JT balanced it out with some cotton candy for dessert. The arrival of the carnival season is a sure sign that summer is just around the corner. And when you are an 8 year old boy (not to mention his very tired mama), that's a very happy thought.