Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Most Likely to Run Away and Join the Circus

Last weekend the five of us visited the St. Louis City Museum, which is a must for any kids visiting St. Louis. Clara and Kate tried to get themselves lost within a complex system of tunnels and caverns. When our niece Alex was 7, Megan got stuck in one of these tunnels, prompting a line of bottlenecked tots to shout, "She's stuck! She's stuck!" They pushed on the bottoms of Megan's shoes until she squirmed her way out.

Clara and Kate loved the three story slide, the mini train, and the no-skateboard skateboard park. What they didn't agree on was the circus. Clara was bored and unimpressed: "When is this overrrrrrr?" But Kate was enthralled, spending the first half of the performance absolutely still. Soon she started to move around like the acrobats and contortionists, climbing up to stand on my kneed and then my shoulders. What the performers did, she tried. When the performers bowed, she bowed. You can kind of see by the top picture that she is in the same position as the performers - legs out, arms at her side, ready for what was next. We were up on the top row, so few people saw Kate's performance, other than the performers themselves. At one point, Kate was up the air bent over backwards on my hand, arms held out and one leg up in the air.

It got a bit complicated when the acrobats started flipping (I picked up Kate and flipped her) and two ballerinas held themselves aloft with drapes, but eventually everyone bowed, and Kate joined them. After they were done, performers came out with donation buckets. I gave Kate money and pointed her in their direction. I waited up top to see if she could make her way through the crowd on her own. Never one to let anyone get in her way, she got down there without looking back, stood quietly in front of a performer until she noticed her, and then held up her money. The performer crouched down and talked to Kate - I saw Kate nod once but I don't know what was said. When she turned back to me Kate was beaming.

When it comes to the circus, I identify more with Clara's reaction, but when a child finds something that brings her joy, the parent feels the joy as well.


Auntie Tracy said...

I love the story... that picture of Kate looking at the camera, she's changed so much. She's a preschooler now, thinner face more "grown up". Our babies are growing up too fast. This is yet another time I am saying to myself, I hate that we live so far away. I adore my nieces and want to see them far far more often. I want them to always know how much we love and miss them. Don't you and Meg need to go to the ocean or something by yourself? I think I have some vacation time coming.

Dave Sarandria said...

Maybe Kate will be in Cirque du Soleil someday!

Anonymous said...

It is always fun to see what captures their attention (or doesn't). I'm not a huge circus fan myself but somehow I'm not surprised that Kate loved it! I guess you know who your performer will be. -Traci

Gregg said...

I would expand on your original statement and say that ANYONE visiting St. Louis should visit the City Museum!

I love the circus shows. They have a wide variety of performers, so it is different every time you visit.

It is a great place to just let kids be kids...and adults be kids, too!