Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lessons learned at the Carnival

The thing about a carnival is that really, it's just a small town version of a county fair...minus the pie-eating contest and heifer competition (which my kids would totally win now that they know what a heifer is!).  For those of you who make your home in South Florida and are completely confused by both the term "carnival" and "county fair," that's ok, just think Hollywood Beach. On a Holiday. In February. After 2am...yes, that is the general atmosphere of one of our little carnivalitas up here in the north. Today, in fact, for most Grand Haven-ers (yes, that is an official term. I'm an English teacher. I would know) today is simultaneously sad (why can't the elephant ear vendor just keep his little trailer here all summer?!) and completely and thoroughly exciting (no more out of town drivers. Or bikini-wearing street-revelers.  Seriously...modest is hottest people!)  It was a great week however, with carnival games, carnival rides, cookouts, and fireworks...and I'm excited to share with you the top three things that I've learned this week...

I don't know these people...I just wanted you to see the Carnival lights
1.  When going to a carnival (or county fair, or Hollywood Beach) dress your children in bright colors.  I learned this accidentally, and even though my kids are old enough to kind of run around on their own...I mean, it's not like I wasn't "around" just maybe not "around" you know?  Anyway, it made it easy to look up on the crazy-spinny Remix and think..."Oh, there's my kid in the bright orange shirt, is he crying or laughing? Laugh...oh, nope...not laughing."  It's also beneficial to make sure that said shirts have a "Jesus" slogan or logo on them.  It's a good reminder that should a ride become too intense, it's still important to watch your language (Darn, this is scary = good.  Oh sh$% = bad). Not that my children would ever use that language...no seriously...they wouldn't...however, it's also a good reminder for the mother who is wandering around with those children-in-Jesus-shirts to also watch her language when her children go on rides which twirl them around like ragdolls (Lord, please protect them = good. Oh sh$% = bad.)

Carson on the "ReMix" in his bright orange "SonShine VBS" t-shirt


Kaitlyn in her neon yellow "Jesus Rocks!" t-shirt

2.  Speaking of...the next thing that I learned is to fully immerse your children in prayer before heading to the carnival (or county fair, or Hollywood Beach).  Because those rides are SKETCH.  Seriously, they are put together in 12 hours by a crew of traveling carnies (their word, not mine...I think.  I'm not sure if that's derogatory...is it?) Who are quite possibly gypsies (again, is this derogatory? I don't think so...right?) and I've seen gypsies on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (same channel as Toddlers in Tiaras and Honey Boo Boo) and they are crazy.  Not to mention that these rides are SET UP ON PALLETS.  Like, the same pallets that are used in many Pinterest DIY projects.  So, if you're a good mom like me, you just buy the wristband and pray that the screws don't come flying loose while your child is hanging upside down.


This is the ride Freak-Out...on a pallet.
 3. And finally, I learned not to leave your undergarments lying around at the carnival (or county fair, or Hollywood Beach) because someone will undoubtably find it and turn it into a piece of sculptural artwork.  Now, I'm not quite sure how this bra ended up on Washington Street in the first place, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the Beer Tent might have had something to do with it...just sayin'

Someone's left-behind bra wrapped artfully around a broomstick
Anyway, it's been a whirlwind of a week.  I caught up with many long-lost friends, we played water squirting games, we walked...and walked...and walked...which is good because I also shared a basket of fries with Carson, and the walking made me feel less guilty about it.  So now that the tourists are gone and the streets are empty, the fam and I are going to head back down to the waterfront tonight for a little Small Town Worship on the Waterfront...and thank God for an awesome place to live...even if people leave their bras around on the sidewalks.

Hope your weekend was great...I'd love to hear about your Carnival adventures as well!

Lots of Small Town Love,

Jenn

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