today, we finally went to the SD County Fair, after 5 years of living here. In the past, it just seemed like so much work with a VERY active kid or baby. This year, when we received tickets from our spritely 90 year-old neighbor, juanita, we HAD to go. chloe is nearly 4, and tall enough to go on many rides by herself.
of course, the fair means many things to many people. to most, it usually connotes vomit-inducing rides followed by insane amounts of deep-fried foods (deep-fried butter? what's the point?) and the stale, pungent air of the livestock exhibits. for me, it means lots of stomach-dropping, spinning and whiplashing rides...which i thoroughly enjoy. even at 30.
there is one called the silver streak. really, it's just a series of small roller coaster cars in a hilly circle that go around really fast. then they go backwards...really fast. the ride is about 3 minutes longer than necessary, if not for the weak stomached, at least for the weak necked. but, i wanted to do it. i love to spin and so does my girl. she loves adventure. jared, well, let's just say he can't do the ferris wheel.
i took our Flip video camera on the ride and what a treat! chloe's laughter filled the entire ride with an infectious cackle that can only come from an exuberant and happy kid. i could watch it over and over just to hear her laugh. if i could make that my ringtone, my alarm tone and greeting as i turned on my laptop, it would be amazing.
there was a moment when she rode the mini-roller coaster for the first time by herself that nearly had me in tears. really, there was no monumental thing happening. just a moment where i was watching her, independent and happy, glowing in the midday sunshine with her hair blowing back, listening to the cyclical giggles as she whizzed by, that i just felt nothing but joy. i knew, instantly, why people have children. jared was by my side. we hugged and he said, "This is the way 4th of july is supposed to be." i quietly agreed as we watched our baby fearlessly roll.