Saturday, October 4, 2008

Carnival kids

When I was a young lass in parochial school, I greatly enjoyed the annual "Fiesta," which was the Southern California version of a carnival or festival. I have vivid memories of the blue-and-white or yellow-and-white striped booths, which contained all manner of games and food. There was a mini-midway set up on the field, not to mention the stage which featured live entertainment performed by the kids (this is a picture of second grade me in line before our class sang).

I also remember that my parents were never overly thrilled to attend, and even less enthusiastic about their volunteer duties manning the "ping-pong ball in the glass" or other such activity. Nevertheless, they gamely went to support the school and satisfy their daughter (and not necessarily in that order).

Today we went as a family to the Christ the King Fall Carnival, and I'm pretty sure I have a better understanding of my parents' attitude toward the Fiesta. Of course, Clare and Danny are younger than I was when it was Fiesta season, which means a) they required a lot more monitoring, and b) we probably derived more "isn't that cute" moments out of the simpler things, such as Danny's attempt to kick the full-size soccer ball into the hole that was about as high as his head. They really did have a blast, though.

Clare went through this obstacle course no fewer than six times:

And always enjoyed the free fall ending after the fifty feet or so of crawling, climbing, and maneuvering:

Danny, meanwhile, was primarily interested in popcorn, at least until he and Daddy discovered the area with the bean bag toss and "hillbilly golf" (ask Tim). I must note that popcorn, as opposed to cotton candy, slushies, etc., is the primary focus for both of my children, and would probably get them excited to watch paint dry.

Once Clare had expended enough physical energy on the jumpy houses and obstacle course, she found the art area and made a bracelet, necklace, key chain, and then "spin art" with her friend and classmate Isabella:

In fact, Clare bumped into several classmates at the carnival, and her enthusiasm about it was infectious. Her joyful attitude about school is worth the price of tuition - and the $20 in tickets we bought today, too.