After a full Easter weekend, the Woods family headed to the Yum! Center (that is an absolutely ridiculous name for anything, let alone a convention center) in downtown Louisville. The plan was to surprise Ezra and Calla with going to the circus. The plan worked.
Hints were dropped for several days leading up to it…that Mommy and Daddy had a surprise family adventure planned. We talked about seeing lots of animals doing cool stuff and lots of excited people watching, to which Ezra understandably guessed, “the zoo?”
Amazingly enough, in the 15 minute drive from our house to the Yum! Center (still a dumb name), Ezra couldn’t stop asking if we were there yet…he even asked when we were still parked in our driveway…parked.
It wasn’t until we got inside and Ezra saw the vendors selling outrageously priced trinkets and souvenirs, that he figured it out…”the CIRCUS!”
We were allowed to go down on the floor for the pre-show and see some performers doing cool tricks and of course the place was crawling with clowns. Ezra made a simple request: “Daddy, keep me away from the clowns.” I had no problem obliging. Calla then said, “Mommy, I no like them.” (So basically, clowns are still scaring little children and creeping out parents.)
After watching an elephant pick up individual paintbrushes and meticulously swipe 6 different colors on a canvas, Ezra said, slightly unimpressed, “That elephant is not a very good painter.”
The kids loved watching motorcyclists drive on a tightwire, balancing two acrobats swinging beneath them, they were completely zoned in on the elephants and the tigers and the lions and the dogs and the ponies doing cool tricks, they even seemed to enjoy the clowns…from a safe distance in the stands. While watching two women twirl 40 feet off the ground, suspended by their hair, Ezra whispered “Daddy, I can see her undies!” and giggled (he was right…you could). And after watching 8 motorcyclists drive at crazy speeds in a dangerous looking sphere, I had to explain that no, Daddy’s scooter cannot do that.
Only had to explain to Ezra a handful of times why we were not going to buy the $12 cotton candy or the $14 snow cone…seriously. But all in all, it was a wonderful family adventure.
The circus seems to be a dying form of entertainment, judging by the size of the audience…but the talent level was extraordinary. The trapeze flyers, the motorcyclists, the martial artists, the acrobats, the horse riders, the animal trainers, the animals themselves…it really was incredible to watch people do things that I will now have to convince Ezra not to do from the top of his bunk bed.
Making memories like this, as a family, matter. Its not about going to the circus, its about the time we get to spend together…a shared experience, shared stories, shared memories.
And it was nice that, for a little while, my family was not the only circus in town.