BARNUM AND BAILEY

BARNUM AND BAILEY

By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Put a wagon handle in my hand and an adventure is sure to begin;
It'll beat out "Barnum and Bailey" and keep you spellbound for hours.
Owen, our beautiful two year old grandson brings me my shoes and we gather the quick needful supplies of animal crackers, nuts, and water, and we're off.
Gosh but it's hot ... but not a preventative.
We make a trek to Spellerberg Park which plays host to the Midco Aquatic Center and countless recreational activities and we head for the triple blue slides.
Movement and motion ceases at the slide's top entrance as Owen surveys two little boys headed our way.
These are not ordinary boys;
These boys are "riding in style with a smile" on wheels.
I zip down the slide and call the boys over to us.
Owen remains still as a stone safely watching, observing, and cautiously showing excitement at the top of the slide.
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Circus Act One:
Jimmy and Timmy are delightful little boys:
Jimmy is eight and riding a mini red bright motorcyle,
Timmy is six and riding a streak of blue Crazy Cart.
Gosh, but for crazy fun they make things!
Jimmy and Timmy clue me in on the "zooming conveyors" which can travel at speeds of up to 25 mph. I have no idea if this is an exaggeration but I'm willing to believe it.
I kindly ask the boys if they might do some "performing" for us and they willingly and cheerfully comply.
The Reader will imagine with me, and smile humorously, at attempts procurred to show off eight and six year old "best" stuff.
They put on a very grand and stimulating show.
Owen slides down the slide to get a closer look and holds my hand as we watch a mini "Shriners" circus play out before us. The boys attempt crazy eights, papa wheelies, and enough circles and dips around the playground to make us dizzy.
It's magic.
We clap and I herald the little daredevils named Jimmy and Timmy.
They leave with saturated egos.
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Circus Act Two:
While pausing for a long drink of water at the fountains, my eyes drift to where voices are loudly exclaiming and a new "act" meets us.
I grab Owen's hand and we volunteer in viewer participation:
Four young teens have dug a small grave in the volleyball sandcourt and covered their lifeless friend but for her face in a sea of sand.
Owen is absolutely spellbound and mystified by the "sand mummy."
I ask the gal to wiggle her toes so Owen might understand and connect his thoughts, and the dots, to the entirety of her body.
He watches her wiggle her toes and he goes directly over to them and studies them.
Back and forth his eyes wander, from head to toes, with a furrowing of brow.
I tickle the young gal's toes slightly and her tummy begins to shake from giggling, thereby removing more sand and displaying a youthful little jelly belly.
She stands up and shakes herself off like a dog spraying sand everywhere. Owen is mesmerized to say the least.
He probably won't work this "act" out in his mind for a few more years yet.
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Circus Act Three:
It's time for a nap so we're headed home.
 Owen is munching on animal crackers and enjoying the wagon ride.
What should we see as our final act but a police car heralding bright red and blue flashing lights encouraging us to draw near right in the very parking lot we're passing through.
Mr. Policeman has completed a small service act and Owen meets, on the best of terms, his first uniformed policeman.
Owen is given a kind and considerable acknowledgment and we leave Mr. Policeman without a ticket in tow and on good terms.
With one block to go and a street to cross to get home,
We're topped off with a friendly and unusual semi honk, which rarely sounds off in city limits, and we make it home.
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For love of this child that can't be expressed, I give thanks to God.
For a day composed of playful exertion, I give thanks to God.
For wagon rides, a "Barnum and Bailey" circus, and simple playfulness,
My heart is satisfied,
Love is clarified,
And God is good.
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