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.