This weekend was our annual trip to the State Fair. Every year it gets easier – no more nap time to plan around, diaper bag to carry, or stroller to maneuver through the crowds.
Hoping to avoid hearing too many questions about when they could go on the rides, we prepped the kids before we left the house. The plan was to see some animals, visit the petting zoo, watch the carvers and blacksmith before going on any rides. Oh the rides … this could be our undoing. Our son, at almost 11, is just shy of five feet tall and 110 pounds. He wouldn’t have to worry about height limits anymore. For our six and a half year old, who wants to do everything her brother does, it might be a different story.
I wondered how many times we might hear “That’s not fair!” or “I am too big enough to go on that ride!” or “That guy’s just a big jerk!” (When she’s feeling particularly aggrieved lately jerk is her favorite word.) I pictured her furrowed brows, eyes narrowing and lips in a deep frown.
First stop was the cattle barn. Our daughter really wanted to milk the fiberglass dairy cow like last year. We were off to a good start as our son took the lead and navigated his sister in the right direction. My husband and I walked a few feet behind, “You see that,” I said looking over at him and smiling, “they do love each other!” I was going to enjoy the peace and togetherness while it lasted.
We saw cattle, exotic birds, sheep, rabbits, horses and even a zebra. The kids were awesome so it was time to head to the rides.
When their dad left to buy ride tickets they began to strategize. I sat quietly and listened. They worked together to decide what ride they’d go on first, took turns choosing the next ride, and even compromised a time or two. And more than once, my son grabbed his sister’s hand and led her through the crowd. They got along beautifully and both had a great time.
Maybe our family has entered a new phase, or maybe we just had a great day at the Fair. Either way, I’ll take it. I’ll sit back and bask in the glow of our parenting success.