So let's just say that I was less than enthusiastic about going to the circus for the first time with boys after all that's been hitting me lately. There are just times when you want to really withdraw from the world and throw in the towel with people in general. But these circus tickets were a gift and I didn't want them to go to waste simply because my week, like most really... was trying.
The circus started rather late in the evening for Noah, 7:30pm, but I figured it would be likely a short circus - maybe an hour. It lasted until 10:30pm much to my surprise with an intermission! I was glad that it was the El Jebel Shriner's Circus because I thought we'd have a fighting chance at a handicapped friendly experience. And we did. I'm not really sure where our seats were supposed to be because as soon as they seen the wheelchair the ushered us into a spot with a ramp so Noah could sit up in the very front row, close to the arena and be able to remain in his wheelchair. We didn't even have to ask for help, it was just openly offered. Which was so nice. You always sometimes hate to feel like you are begging upon someone's sympathy to have them rearrange something just because you have a child with special needs.
The circus has certainly evolved since the last time Chris and I have been, which has likely been close to thirty years ago for the both of us. I don't ever remember PETA or animal activists lining the streets when I was a kid. That's a hard thing to explain to a child I think. Thank goodness Luke is only three, even though I'm pretty sure Noah knows how to read. I get it, I do. I'm a huge animal person and the idea of any living creature being mistreated or abused makes me twinge.
But even aside from the animal activists boycotting the circus, it was different than how I remember it. It was more simple when I was a child. The circus now has a very hip-hop feel, with loud music, lots of dancing mixed in with various stunts. You still have your familiar tigers and elephants, but now it's a mixture of jump rope acts and balancing ceramic planters on your head. The other big difference is now as an adult, when you see someone almost slip and fall you pray they recover fast so your children don't witness a terrible accident. I'm sure accidents still happened at those types of events when I was a child, but as a child you don't recognize the potential of all that could go wrong at that age.
Noah however loved the evolution of the circus. It was up his sensory seeking alley. He was thrilled with loud booms, he thought when he was startled it was funny, he giggled at the flashing lights, and appreciated the deep pounding bass of the music. And he loved that he was close enough for performers to interact with him. He likes it when people talk to him. He isn't big on being swallowed by a crowd however, and didn't like that the elevators were so full, causing him to complete his signature gag and vomit reflex. Thankfully he recovered quickly since it was a very short elevator ride from the parking lot to the event center.
We learned that he loves clowns, and that Luke does not. We learned Noah has a fascination for all things that go up in the air, not just airplanes. That Luke loves to dance, and is slightly defensive of other children getting too close to animals he loves, thinking they all belong to him. Which was rather funny to watch a three year old try to stand guard over an elephant. Things I never got to see Noah do. Things that are simply typical with each growing age. It is all so bittersweet really.
It was great to offer the boys that experience. I think they both had a really good time. I know Noah did for sure. I love it when he giggles and squeals, I'm happy if I can make his life happy.
Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.