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April 2, 2008 - Betsy Bethel
Emma is still talking about the circus. And I'm still reeling from sticker shock.
I took my nephews, who are 5 and 6, my daughter, who is 2, and my 13-year-old niece to the Osiris Shrine Circus on Monday at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling. The music and lights were mesmerizing, the animals were ferocious and funny and amazing, and the death-defying acts were fantastic.
It was a fun event. Emma liked the el-phants and monkeys the best. Although I never gave her the impression that clowns are anything but funny, she made up her own mind -- "They scare me!" My nephews and niece enjoyed the acrobats, balancing acts and stunts.
Emma enjoys telling everyone she meets that "Mommy screamed" when the man built his tower of chairs and balanced precariously on top of them -- first on his feet and then on his hands. I also screamed when the trapeze artist high above the center ring flipped off her swing and re-engaged it with only her feet! I still am amazed by that one.
Unfortunately, while it would seem the circus should be an affordable family outing, many Ohio Valley families probably found it prohibitively expensive. Tickets were $16 for adults (12 and over) and $10 for children. The only way we could attend at all is because we had the coupon that ran in The Intelligencer and News-Register that allowed the five of us (two adults and three children) to get in for $25.
I brought an additional $30 with me. Parents in the know are probably FOTFL right now.
My money afforded our group: two small popcorns, one bag of cotton candy, one order of french fries and one light saber that had to be shared by the two boys. Sorry, kids, you'll have to go thirsty -- I can't afford drinks!
At intermission, my daughter was in tears because I had to say "no" to the pony ride, and the boys were sorely disappointed that they couldn't slide down the inflatable slide. Tickets for both activities were $6 apiece.
At that point, I only had $11 left, and, of course, the coolest light-up toys were $12 apiece. On the advice of the hawker, I went to the souvenir stand to find my price range of toys and was relieved to find a cheaper light saber that left me with a dollar in my pocket.
I have to hand it to my nephews, though -- they did not gripe. They had to be reminded to say "thank you," but all four kids were pretty happy just to be at the circus. The sheer delight on their faces with the Afghan hounds bounded and leapt over obstacles, for instance, was a joy to behold.
After all, joy is something we can ill-afford to take for granted in this crazy world.
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Garrett, Ethan and Emma after the show