Last Saturday some friends and I went to the Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The whole place smelled like popcorn and cotton candy and little kids who’d been out in the sun.
Every time I go to the circus, I’m back in Mrs. Simons’ first grade class.
At some point during the spring of my first year of school, I got it in my head that we could have a circus in my backyard, and the whole class got excited about it.
Several of my friends had pets that could do tricks, and of course my wiener dog, Fritz, could do something to entertain us.
My grandfather had some Shetland ponies and another friend had a full grown horse that we could take turns riding.
We had plenty of lawn furniture on our patio and folding lawn chairs from camping trips, so seating wasn’t a problem.
And of course my mother would make whatever refreshments we wanted.
One afternoon while I was at the sitter’s house after school, I wrote out all of the invitations on Big Chief Tablet paper and drew a circus tent on each one in crayon.
The next day I passed them out to all my classmates at school.
Everything was set.
Until some kid’s mother called my mother to say what a darling invitation her son had brought home from school. Then she asked if the circus was really a birthday party and if he needed to bring a present.
Seems I had forgotten to tell my mother about the circus.
So the next morning I had to ask the teacher if I could address the class, to tell them I wasn’t really having a circus in my backyard.
Even at six I was a big picture person.
But I’m still looking for someone to take care of the details.