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My New Appreciation for the Circus

There are two kinds of people who take the circus very seriously: those who perform death-defying acts, and 4-year-olds.

I went to Ringling Bros and Barnum & Baily's Over the Top show with my family last week in Chicago. At first, my little brother (he’s 4) didn't seem interested. We'd say to him, “Wow! Do you see the horses?!” and he would nod stoically. We'd say, “Look over there! The clowns are being funny!” and he would dutifully look. We'd point (and I would shriek with fear) at the seven motorcycles going super fast in a teeny-tiny steel cage: 

Torres family


And from him? Nothing. Just total, bug-eyed attention. And then I realized that I'd been distracting him with all my oohs and aahs. I quieted down, and we watched the show with a level of focus my constantly-multitasking brain just isn’t used to.

It was after the show that the kid let loose. He had questions and opinions (I love 4-year-old opinions) on pretty much everything we saw. Despite the serious face, he had a great time.

Have your kids been to the circus, or another big event? How did they react to the spectacle?