I grew up in a small town in Connecticut. We had five thousand residences and two police cars. (so if you passed both of them you could speed home!) Our jail was a chair that you were handcuffed to (in case you miscount the police cars). Our high school was combined with the town next to us and even that only got us to 600 kids IN THE ENTIRE SCHOOL.
But most importantly, every summer we had the Carnival. Giant cages spinning wildly in the Ferris Wheel of Death. The Bingo tent full of old people, trolls and me. Cotton candy for two dollars and goldfish brought home to die by the dozens.
So before my kids left for my birthday, we drove to our first southern version of the county fair.
We ate funnel cake. FOR LUNCH.
My son and his stomach of steel and I went on ride after ride after ride.
Pretty standard fare. Until I tear my eyes away from the whirling lights and sounds and sugar.
And I’m being stared down. By tattoos of eyeballs. ONE ON EACH BOOB. Spirited t-shirts encouraging me to Save a horse! Ride a cowboy! And belt buckets that say: Bad Mom. Which I’m pretty sure she means bad as in good. Or maybe bad as in good luck keeping these cutoff jean shorts from showing you the fun.
But most importantly, you will see Cinderella. Chatting with two vampires.
And then you will wander into the petting zoo.
But as you leave the lights and the dust and the missing teeth of the fair behind, you just might find your heart walking in front of you. Holding hands.