A Day at the Carnival

Photo-47 This past weekend was the annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin (Dublin, Ca NOT Ireland). The weather was superb and the food smelled better than anything else I can ever remember. It was everything a good local festival should be. First we listened to some good Celtic music (Tempest rocks) then we filled up on festival food. Then it was time to get some ride tickets and hit the midway. It was by no means a huge midway, but it had a decent
amount of rides on it.

First thing was first and the kids headed straight for the first bouncy house they saw. My husband and I milled around outside in the sun with the other parents and listened to the screams of laughter coming from inside while the sounds of Celtic music filled the air. When the kids were done with that we asked what ride they wanted to go on next. As we walked down the midway in the sun the kids stopped in front of the boat.

You know the one that rocks back and forth getting higher and higher with each rock. It was by no means anywhere near as large or as high as the Revolution at Great America or anything, but still my immediate instinct was to make sure they were tall enough. And for the first time ever both kids were tall enough. So we got in line. And instantly I realized that we, the adults, weighed more than the maximum. This ride was just for kids. They were going to have to go on it alone.

I guess maybe for some moms this would be a moment that just simply comes and goes. Maybe because I’m a writer, this moment felt like more than just a moment. I watched my kids get strapped in and I watched the look on their faces as the ride began to sway back and forth and pick up speed. I watched and my heart leapt from my chest.

How is it my kids are old enough to ride a carnival ride alone? How did this small but significant step come so fast? How is they can feel the joy, anxiety, fear and exhilaration of a carnival ride without me? How did time pass so quickly.

Maybe I’m just a little emotional because within the next two weeks my kids will each have birthdays where they’ll be turning seven and five. Maybe it’s because St. Patrick’s Day always stirs up so many of my own childhood memories.

Maybe it was just a ride.

But I don’t think so.

This is an original post to the Silicon Valley Moms Blog.

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