Every kid should get to go to the fair…

I took my step-son and his friend to our city’s annual fair today. 

My wife, who in her busy life does not relish the idea of the chaotic atmosphere of fairs, was grateful that I took on the task.  My step-son’s Dad is not currently in the picture.  My wife apologized to me when the boys and I returned home that I had to “endure” this event with all the noise, smells, and rude people.  I replied with a heartfelt, “Not at all!  I loved it”.

As I sit here now after an hour drive each way and 9 hours in the hot sun and crowds, I have a giddy happiness inside and don’t feel in the least bit tired.  Shortly after telling my wife how much I loved going, a long-forgotten memory came to mind.  It became vividly clear to me why I enjoyed going.

I was maybe 8 years old.  My sister, a year older, got invited by another family go to the fair.  When they picked her up, it hit me at once… she was going and I was missing out.  I cried and cried.  I can still remember the pain of disappointment more than 35 years later.

My Mom, who had always been there for us, yet seldom lavished us, hugged me, packed me in the car, and took me to the fair that night.  Just me.  I remember her standing at the rail of the bumper cars as I joyfully collided with the other kids.  And her waving at me as I rode the mini roller-coaster and merry-go-round.  I am pretty sure I even came home with a toy from the dart and balloon game.

My Mom was on her own… a single Mom, which was rare in our area in the early 1970’s.  She had a great job and always provided for us, but an unplanned trip to the fair would have been a stretch.  She did it anyway.

Today, at the same fair, in the heat, crowds, noise, tackiness, and expense, I was in heaven.  There was no way a boy was going to miss out on a trip to the fair.  I loved every second and I will do it again next year.

Every kid should get to go to the fair.




About Chaz

Husband, father, brother, son, friend. Sober member of AA. Grateful for the life God gave me and for the happy struggle of recovery.
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7 Responses to Every kid should get to go to the fair…

  1. Heidi says:

    Sweet. It is wonderful to hear the soft side, Chaz. Such a gift of sobriety to be able to stay in touch with the child within!

  2. Chaz says:

    Thanks Heidi…. it certainly is nice to be able to take a memory like that and make something useful out of it for someone else. In my unsober state… including my unrecovering thinking… I would not have been available to give back in this way.

    God is good, sobriety is good…. and my Mom is fabulous! So glad she gave us so many little lessons like this.



  3. Debby says:

    What a nice memory. For you AND the boys you took to the fair! Great story and it sounds like a great life.

  4. Caddo Veil says:

    Okay–now I don’t know if I can keep coming here, if I’m going to cry like a frumpy idiot every time. Golly gee, you sure can tap into stuff–and you do it beautifully and lovingly, Chaz!! The tears are a mix of old pain, and such great and bountiful joy for you–and the young lives you’re touching each day (not to mention your readers of any age). I think you’re wonderful–you’ve so captured the essence of life lived forward, not backward and stuck. Praise God–you keep a-going!

    And thank you muchly for subscribing to my blog–what a lovely compliment from you!! You’re just a sweetheart! God bless you and your little family abundantly–today and always. Your Auntie Caddo (yes, it’s official–I’ve just adopted you)

    • Chaz says:

      Thank you Auntie Caddo 🙂

      Hug the next kid you run into and tell them they are loved and valued. Even if they are 40, 50, 60.

      That’s all I wanted then and not much has changed.


  5. Debbie says:

    Chaz . .what a gift this is . . .you are. For all the times I have messed up with my kids, you’ve encouraged me to just hug them and tell them that I love them as often as I can! Thank you!

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