It is funny how experiences change as you become older. I often find myself feeling disappointed that my birthday is no longer a day full of treats from start to finish (thank you Mum and Dad for all the effort you always put into our special days!) Instead I now have to do boring adult stuff like make packed lunches, change nappies and worry about our bank balance. The only way I get a birthday cake is if I buy it or make one myself. But in some ways it is better as I have my own wonderful family to share the day with. And children just love birthdays and get even more excited than you about them. So experiences change, things can appear not as magical (?) as they did when you were a child, however, when you have children of your own they become fun again but on a different level. Holidays, Christmas, Birthdays etc become exciting, enjoyable events all over again just now you have the added stress and responsibility of actually having to plan/pay for them.
So when I suggested to my husband that we spend our Sunday at a local fair, I had mixed feelings about how the day would go. You see, the last time I was at the fair I was a teenager and I went with all my friends and it caused much excitement. Everyone went to fair day. You could spend your money on tat and sweets your parents would previously of stopped you from buying. You would go on the scariest rides because all your friends did and lets face it you were a fearless teen. The sun would be shining, you had the whole morning to get ready, your own personal chauffeur would drop you off (thanks Dad) and you would spend the day carefree and having fun.
My first thoughts about attending fair day with children: we will need to pack bottles, nappies, change of clothes for both children, sun cream, raincoats and snacks in case the fussy eater doesn’t like any food there. Where should we park? How much walking could I expect the four year old to do? Should we take the pushchair or the baby carrier? The list goes on and I was starting to think “Is this going to be worth it?” Our eldest had never been to a fair before, would he even like it??!
But his little face when we told him where we were going just lit up and straight away I knew we had made a good decision. And you know what? He loved it, we loved, even the baby seemed to enjoy it. Sure it was a different experience to my previous fair days but I loved it even more because my son had loved it. He went on a ride (by himself), played the traditional fair games like “hook a duck”, he ate ice-cream and went on the boats. He got a huge Paw Patrol balloon because that was what he wanted to spend him pocket money on. (Yes I was that annoying person carrying a huge balloon whilst trying to steer a pushchair and making my apologies to people as I collided into them.) Today we made memories as a family and we all came away feeling tired but content as we had all had a great time. Genuinely.
So experiences change when you grow up and have children. Our enjoyment now comes from seeing our children enjoying themselves. We do these things to create perfect memories for them and while it takes more planning and a pushchair laden down with bags, coats and other necessities, I know it has all been worth it because we are all happy. And everyone should sleep well tonight.