I teach 8th grade and sometimes I feel like I am the ringleader in a circus.
“There’s a sucker born every minute.” P. T. Barnum
In January, when the I first heard the news that the Ringing Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus would be ceasing operations in May, I did a quick search to find out where the circus would be before it ended it’s 146-year run. I discovered it was in Cincinnati, Ohio – a short five-hour drive away. 317 miles, give or take. I did a quick search of tickets and found they were available. I mentioned it to B and we remembered the summer we met and when went to the circus with a large group. We laughed about the memory and then, I forgot about it and the idea shifted to the bottom of the pile.
Last weekend the memory came back and Monday night and I sent O a short text, ‘Circus?’ and another six minutes later, Circus?’ No response.
The next morning, I mentioned the circus before I left for school and left it that. No response.
Wednesday I got my reply in a text, ‘I will go with you to the circus.’
Last night I sat next to a spellbound little girl and I joined her in awe as we watched the Greatest Show on Earth for the last time, at least for us.
When we left home yesterday morning, the sun was shining brightly it was clear and cold AND I was excited, O was along for the journey. We talked as I drove, then south of Indianapolis she fell fast asleep. I plugged in an audiobook and drove. Somewhere in southeastern Indiana it got hilly as we drove deeper into the Ohio River valley and closer to Cincinnati. O woke from her nap and helped navigate with the help of my phone.
It was a wonderful show full of exciting action beginning with the camels and ending with acrobats on trampolines and bicycles performing amazing aerial stunts. In between, dances, singers, a death-defying high-wire act, the human cannonball, tigers – 13 of them, and amazing performing poodles. I nudged O and whispered to her, ‘don’t get any ideas with Ivy.’ She smiled. We finished the evening with dinner along the Ohio River. It was a magical sort of day. We have a souvenir cup and program and an amazing tiger flip-top drink cup as well as memories of the circus that will last a lifetime.
We had a great time at the circus, neither of us will forget the adventure. It’s Sunday morning O’s sleeping, I can hear her gentle breathing as I write. The sun is rising and It’s gonna be a great day. We’ve got a full day planned and a five-hour drive. But first, I better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one memory at a time, even without elephants.
What was your last spur of the moment adventure?
Oh, a final footnote. The circus is ceasing operations because it cannot compete in today’s entertainment market. I disagree, but the reality it is a business and the primary aim of any business is to generate income and a profit. The political cartoon below was published in The State a South Carolina newspaper and the cartoonist is one of my favorite political cartoonists – he has a wonderful sense of humor. I hope you find the humor and irony.