Friday at the fair is the day the kids always look forward to: I go to Lowe's in July and buy a ticket for a wristband giving unlimited rides. For three of us, that's $60. Every year I wonder if I should forget buying one for myself; I really don't enjoy rides that much any more.
Since the midway doesn't open until noon, we had plenty of time to see some other things. We caught the Grizzly Falls bear show and went to the petting zoo, after a stroll through the machinery.
Shortly after 11 AM, we went to the camper for a lunch of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, and rested for awhile. Then on to the rides!
We rode, and rode, and rode. I abstained from some of the things the girls enjoyed. Around 5:30, I was getting hungry, and really didn't want to go all the way back to the camper and eat. So I decided to quit being a miser. We ate in one of the food tents. It turned out to be a high spot for the girls, because the HoneyBear Dancers came in to get hamburgers while we were there... and they remembered Monica and Natalie! One of them asked, "How was ride day," remembering what the girls had told them at the previous day's show.
Then we went back for more rides. Sigh. Around 7 PM, I said, "Aren't you girls getting tired? Don't you think we should go back to the camper?"
Fat chance. But then nature intervened. A storm was approaching, and the rides had to shut down for safety's sake. By the time we got back to the camper, the rain was coming down, and thunder and lightning were all around, close. Monica, as she reminded me, is afraid of thunder. She burrowed deep under her pillow and sleeping bag, whimpering.
I sang "Amazing Grace" and "There Shall Be Showers of Blessing". When I'd stop, they'd ask me to sing something else. A wind was blowing so hard I wondered if the camper would stand up to it. Then it abated somewhat, and the lightning and thunder weren't so close.
Monica still cowered on the bed. I was getting tired of singing, and made this remark: "When I was a little girl, I'd have been out playing in the rain right now."
"Can we?" This from Natalie.
"Sure, go ahead."
"Noooooo," Monica said weakly.
But Natalie and I went out. I sat under the awning in my comfortable lawn chair, and Natalie stomped, squealed and giggled in the rain. Monica, not wanting to be alone inside, came out and watched for awhile. It took ten minutes or so, but before you know it she was splashing and playing in the pouring-down rain alongside her sister, stomping in puddles and having a blast... oblivious to the distant lightning and thunder.
They must have kept at it for an hour or more, until I finally sent them to the showers. This night, they slept soundly. And so did I.
I'm glad I had the privilege of teaching them that it's OK to play in the rain.