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The Scoop 9-15
Kids outgrow dad at the fair
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It's been said there are three phases to a man's life -- he believes in Santa Claus, he doesn't believe in Santa, then he plays Santa.
It makes me think about the phases of life as they pertain to our lovely Warren County A&L Fair. The fair, oddly enough, is a good measure of life's many stages.
As a child you dash with wild abandon to the little cars and motorcycles so eager to ride. You spin and smile, then run around to ride again.
As a teen, your fair energy is greatly diminished. You act cool hanging out by the thrill rides, getting on board one or two to show your bravado.
As an adult, your fair mindset completely changes. You walk right past the rides and straight for the food booths where you can eat and socialize. You'd like to go to the Poultry Barn to see all the chickens, but that's a mighty long ways to walk.
When my kids were young, I remember piling into the car and hearing sounds of glee as we drove to the fair. We couldn't get out of the car and reach the ticket booth fast enough for the boys.
I made pictures of them on the carousel and barreling down the long, yellow slide. They clung to my side like batter on a corndog and tugged on my arm if I spent too much time talking.
As the boys grew older, they'd want to ride with a friend. I was no longer a big part of their fair equation. That's understandable and it was still cute. An occasional picture was even allowed.
But now that age has passed too. This week at the fair, my kids have run from me like I'm a swarm of bees. If I happen to notice them somewhere on the midway, it's understood that eye contact is discouraged. Waving at them is absolutely prohibited.
One amusing thing is folks I haven't seen in awhile still expect me to have small kids, sort of like my family has been kept on ice for the past nine years. Walking around the fairgrounds, several people have asked me, "Didn't you bring your kids?" They say this while looking down at waist level like my kids would still be small.
Yes, I brought them, but they are both extremely tall and the most unlikely place to find them is with me. They'd rather be locked in a room doing homework than be spotted by their friends walking around at the fair with their parents.
In a rather unusual confession, I must admit my oldest son, now 16, didn't ride with us to the fair Wednesday night. In a stunning development, he picked going to church services over going to the fair. The audacity!
This is the part where you just have to shake your head and ask, "What's wrong with kids today?" I have to ask myself where I may have gone wrong as a parent. Perhaps the two of us need to sit down and have a vigorous discussion about his priorities. Or maybe he should be having that discussion with me.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.