Everyone loves a carnival. I know I do. What do I love about it? The small town feeling, everyone in the neighborhood is there. The families from the parish are helping out and having fun. The kids are running around like they have gone mad with excitement. It feels safe and it feels like home.
Of course you can’t forget the wonderful food. Pink and blue sticky sweet cotton candy that takes about eleven baby wipes to get it off little fingers. Or the games, giving your children a bunch of dollars and when they are done playing they have pockets full of rubber balls, rubber snakes, fake tattoos, and all the treasures ten dollars can buy. Then there are the rides. The carousel, bumper cars, rides that go up and rides that go upside down. The ride workers, or “Carnies” as Lil D likes to call them can’t be beat. Especially when they tell you to go back and spend another fifteen dollars in order to ride the kiddy rides with your 3 year old. Yes, I love it all.
Last weekend my family and I went to our parish’s yearly festival. There is a ride called the hang glider. You lay on your stomach and it takes you up high and in a circle. Lil D wanted to ride it. It was his first big carnival ride. I decided to go on with him. Lets just say I am not as young as I used to be. I also learned that eating a Polish sausage with sauerkraut before going on this ride was not such a good idea. While on the ride, I kept my eyes closed and prayed to God that this rusty contraption would hold up. When the ride stopped and we finally got off, Lil D was excited. I on the other hand was nauseous. My dad was smiling at me, asked if I was ok and then said, “You should never close your eyes, that’s the problem.”
I thought about this and feel this little lesson could be put towards my everyday life. Sometimes life will be filled with excitement, butterflies in your stomach. Sometimes you will be souring high, and sometimes you will be low. Life may spin you around so fast you will wish you had not eaten that sausage with kraut. To make sure you get the best out of life you need to keep your eyes open. You can’t see the blessings and the thrills if they are shut tight, you will be thrown off balance. You need to pray for the trust in God that he will hold everything together. There are so many fun things to do at a carnival, why not learn a little as well.
Next year I will be there again, but this time I think I will learn my life’s lessons on the kiddy rides that don’t spin and go nice and slow.