I’ve been to my share of State Fairs, from Maryland to Wisconsin, but the one closest to my heart is the North Carolina State Fair. It’s a hike to get from the free parking to the fairgrounds and it’s always crowded and hot and I don’t think I’ve ever worn the right shoes. But this year, Matthew and I got to share the experience with our kids for the first time. It was harder, yes, and the hike from the free parking felt more like marching into battle with our enormous stroller leading the charge. We didn’t stay long or see that much and I don’t know if we’ll do it again until they can walk on their own. But I’m always glad after we do things like that with Ella and Jack. I feel proud for tackling the challenge but also grateful to have more memories, more pictures to show them when they’re older and I’m older and want to remember.
Having small children takes a lot of patience, patience I don’t always have, but I’m living in the time that so many people look back on, wishing they could relive it. It’s not regret, I don’t think, just looking back with maybe a tear in your eye but a smile on your face. And that just might be the fate of every parent. All we can do is make it worth the nostalgia.
P.S. You don’t go to state fairs to eat a balanced meal, that’s for sure.