As we wound our way through back country roads, Munchie waving a foam sword around in the backseat… yelling (at what I can only assume to be imaginary pirates stealing his precious loot), I bask in the glorious reality that (perhaps for the first time in almost a year) I will be enjoying a delightful evening, at home… by myself. We pull into the driveway at the farm, where I will be leaving him for the night (not alone… with his grandparents) and he giggles as we bump down the gravel hill. Thoughts are still running though my mind of all the fun that awaits my night alone.
“I can make a grocery list, go to the store, dye my hair, eat ice cream, watch tv, stay up late, and then sleep in!” (To those of you without kids, this might not sound exciting… and you might think I’m being sarcastic… but I swear… doing these things ALONE is like a freaking fairy tale come true.)
Munchie and I make our way up to Grandpa’s “man cave” (a barn that he is transformed into quite the many hangout). He begins telling me that Aunt Jessie and Bubby are going to take Alex to the local carnival.
Now, let’s stop right there. Of all the things I love in this world, there is something about the charm of a small town carnival… the sense of community… the pride… I don’t know what it is… but it just melts my heart and fills me with childish joy.
He continued to explain that they were wondering if I would like to join them… and he was quite certain I “really enjoyed stuff like that.” HE’S RIGHT!!! I REALLY DO!!!
So Bubby and Aunt Jessie got to the house, we piled in the car, and drove what would equate to about five city blocks, to the carnival. As we rounded the corner, I could see bright, flashing, rickety deathtraps high in the sky. I could smell all things smoked, fried, and barbecued. I could hear live music, chatter from the crowd, and the squeals of children. We parked in the grass, loaded Munchie into the stroller, and made our way toward the flashy fantasy land.
We were all impressed with the size of this small town carnival. There were a decent number of flying deathtraps, which all seemed to be spinning in circles at a highly terrifying rate of speed (no, seriously… it’s like Tim, The Tool Man, Taylor screwed with them and put in industrial motors… freaking warp speed). Games… like real carnival games, manned by real carnies, lined the perimeter. Food stands everywhere. Locals ran some seriously impressive booths… it was impressive!
The first stop we made was at the rubber ducky pond. Munchie had a blast splashing in the water and eventually picked out three swimming ducks on his own. He won a football, which he clung to the rest of the night… well.. until Aunt Jessie won him a plastic sword… and then Mommy won a stuffed snake… and this continued for the remainder of our game playing adventure.
In addition to Munchie’s fabulous prizes, he also rode a train (First Roller Coaster!) and the world’s fastest freaking merry go round in the history of the world (I mean, it wasn’t written anywhere… but I assume it to be true… so it’s now a fact… because I’m always right… and have dubbed myself a merry go round connoisseur).
Oh, and did I mention that Aunt Jessie and I both won GENUINE METAL KNIVES at one of the community booths? We had to toss rings onto spinning knives. If your ring landed on a knife, you won the knife! We are extremely skilled at carnival games… and now have stabby-stab-stab knives to prove it! (Well, her knife is more of a cutty-cut-cut knife… and mine is a stabby-stab-stab one.) I am eating dinner with this major award for the rest of my LIFE!
I will also admit that for a brief moment, I regretted already being married… because I wanted to cut a wedding cake with this thing… I mean… it’s that freaking awesome! Meh… maybe next year… on our anniversary.
Note: This was SOOOO much better than the “me” time I was expecting!!!