To break her lifelong habit of walking on her toes (which can lead to muscle and tendon problems) Sarah is wearing serial casts for six weeks and is five weeks into the program.
The good folks at Shriner’s
I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but Sarah loved it and has not stopped talking about it…which has turned it into one of my favorite daddy-daughter memories.
There was something very old-timey about the experience. Rather than being staged inside a basketball arena, the Shriner’s Circus really did take place “under the Big Top” -- in a tent with spectators seated on portable bleachers. It was warm inside because it was warm outside. We purchased cotton candy before it started and a snow cone at intermission. We ate peanuts and tossed the shells onto the grass beneath the bleachers. It was how I picture circuses being back in the Great Depression and other “old days” in our national memory.
There was nothing new about the type of entertainment provided, but Sarah was mesmerized far beyond what I would have expected, and I guess that proves that some things never change about the mind of childhood.
Her favorite performer was “
The circus also featured a hula hoopster who was quite amazing.
And it featured a 14-year-old, slinky-spined acrobat who contorted on tall furniture while the speakers played a bawdy version of Roxanne. He was described as being from the fifth generation of a circus-performing family from
Then there was the usual assortment of illusionists. And the usual assortment of Eastern European Gypsy types, including one young lady from
And yes, there were some animals, including elephants, but not many.
Outside the Big Top was a carnival where Sarah rode a pony; rode a ride; fed some animals; played some games; and won an inflatable pink dolphin. As has been the case ever since she got casts, they did not hold her back from going about her business.
Circuses have some incongruities about them. The ringleader kept saying they are the world’s oldest form of family entertainment and are always rated G, and that is probably true as far as it goes…yet I could not shed my suspicion that most circus performers are Bohemians who live X-rated lives after the lights go down.
But that is an admittedly odd part of their charm, and fortunately, it is not something we need to concern ourselves with. Childhood illusions are important, and circuses uphold those illusions in ways that are hard to grasp as adults.
If you attend the Shriner’s Circus, you will have the satisfaction of knowing the money you spend is helping fund the wonderful Shriner’s Hospitals, which provide children with state of the art medical care at no charge. If one of these circuses visits your area, take your kid and give it a try.