I'm not sure when I'm ever going to recover from the weekend.
As anyone living anywhere small-townish that holds an annual festival of any kind can attest, surviving said festival is as exhausting as it is exhilarating, what with all the funnel cake and all. Perhaps if we lived a little farther from our booming downtown (I kid), it would not be as tiresome to hear the "woooos" and the "wheeees" from the carnival or the sirens late at night chasing someone who'd obviously had a little too much to drink at the beer garden.
Despite all this hub bub, I wouldn't trade our close proximity for the world, and not only because the local businessman charges $10 for a parking space.
The kids obviously dig the festival. Big time. Where else can they stuff their faces full of elephant ears and corn dogs until their bellies burst and eat their weight in cotton candy? Only at the festival. They can enter a pizza eating contest, watch the festival Queens (and more importantly, Junior Queens) compete, see a parade (or, in our case, be in the parade), play carnival games and make their mom really, really nervous by riding the Gravitron. Only at the festival...
But it is exhausting, all of this festivalness.
So come Sunday afternoon, I had had it. I mean, had it. No more, I said to myself as the kids disassembled the lemonade stand they'd been working at trying to make extra cash for the carnival. For I knew that as soon as they'd put the last of their stand away, they'd be begging for me to take them to the festival...again.
This is where having older kids has it's advantages.
The boys begged, they pleaded they promised me a carefree night if I would just let them go down to the festival one last time.
I'm easy like that, especially on a Sunday afternoon with an accompanying funnel cake hangover.
So that left Katie, her lemonade cash folded neatly in her pocket and a sad, puppy dog look on her face.
"Why can't I go with them mom?" She asked, pitifully.
I wanted to answer, "Because it's nothing but sweaty teenagers wearing scraps of denim, overtired carnival workers trying to suck every last dime out of anyone walking by and trouble makers with nothing better to do on a hot Sunday afternoon but hang out in large crowds," but I didn't. I told her, "Aw, it's no fun down there honey, why don't you stay here with me?" And ran to the freezer to briber her with a Popsicle so she wouldn't have a stage 4 meltdown right then and there.
The Popsicle distracted her just long enough for the boys to leave and for me to come up with an alternative excuse as to why going to the festival was 100% bad news.
After the frozen grape sugary concoction had worked it's magic into her veins she questioned me again and this time I told her the truth, that if she saved her money instead of blowing it on umbrella hats and potato guns like her brothers were apt to do, she'd have enough to buy the Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker she's been coveting. I didn't even have to pass out another Popsicle.
And it worked.
Thank heaven for little girls who still believe the things their mamas tell them, no matter how silly they may seem.
And may the fairy tale continue...at least until she's seven.