Just Heather
#23. Let my kids eat cotton candy at the fair.

img_1759-largeWhen I was a kid, we went to the carnival every year around the 4th of July.  There were rides, games, cotton candy and lemonade shake-ups (which I hate but everyone else seems to love). As I got older, I realized that what carnivals really had were rickety rides, scams, dyed sugar and overpriced lemonade. As I like keeping my children safe, avoid dyes & processed sugars and generally refuse to waste money on overpriced anything, my girls have never been the fair. They have, however, been to Indiana Beach many times. That’s kind of like a carnival, right?

img_1745-largeWhen I set about writing my 40×40 list, it was all about things I want to do but never really have the time, money or opportunity.  The someday project isn’t about obligations. It’s about finally making dreams come true. Because my children’s dreams are also important, I have included two items on my list that I don’t personally care to do. Ever. However, I desperately want my children to have these memories. So, during the last week of school, when I saw a sign in our local shopping center advertising a carnival, I immediately added it to the summer fun list and started getting excited about crossing off another 40×40 item. I think I was more excited about the idea than the girls.

Lemonade Stand

Of course, the overpriced part of the equation was still a problem for me. Funds are tight these days and throwing money away at the fair, even for a good reason, doesn’t sit well with me. That’s when I remembered that the neighborhood yard sale was happening the same weekend. I decided to put together a small yard sale in hopes of raising enough to pay for an evening at the fair. The girls had listed “have a yard sale” on their summer fun list so we got to cross off two items this weekend. Three, since the girls had their annual lemonade stand in conjunction with the yard sale.

img_1760-largeWe made enough off our junk to cover dinner at Steak ‘n Shake, a few rides at the carnival, the requisite cotton candy and one game in which Lorelai accidentally won a fish. Quite ironic, since we had just gotten rid of our old fish bowls in the yard sale. Luckily, I found another fish bowl that had a previous life as a crystal ball for Stacia’s 9th Arabian Nights birthday party. The fish has apparently been named Five, though I have no idea why. That is, however, the cost of the bucket of ping pong balls she used to win him.

img_1766-largeThe girls chose the Octopus, Gravitron (aka Megatron, according to Brenia) and the Ferris Wheel to ride. I also talked Lorelai into riding the Super Slide with me, though on the way up I distinctly remembered why I stopped riding fair rides. We all survived and the girls declared it their “best day ever” so it was definitely worth the rickety climb to the top of the slide.  Brenia has made the Best Day Ever declaration every day this summer. Even though we’re just now starting the second week of summer, I am declaring the summer fun list a complete success.

5 Responses to “#23. Let my kids eat cotton candy at the fair.”

  1. So fun!!! It makes it even more fun when it doesn’t take away from the budget! 🙂

  2. Cotton candy is the BEST tradition for a fair or carnival!! I always dreamed of fairs and carnivals as a kid… and the few memories of those fun times always include cotton candy. When I met Jeff and we were dating, he worked a summer job at the State Fair. As soon as he learned of my love of cotton candy and why it was so important to me… he would bring home cotton candy for me every night.

  3. Oh how very fun! I know what you mean about going to the fair….such magic as a kid, so rickety and laden with expensive safety hazards as an adult!!!

  4. YAY!!! am so glad that you all went. And, for the record, your girls are JUST GORGEOUS. Especially with ice cream smeared all over their smiling faces!