Friday, July 15, 2011


Much ado is made, particularly in the Christmas season, about "a child's sense of wonder."  If you've spent any time with a toddler, you know this sense is vigorous and motivating.  "Why?" the child asks.  "Why?  Why?  Why not?"

Equally marvelous, though, is a child's sense of acceptance.  The other day, while ferrying Scoot to yet another activity at the local fairgrounds, I noticed that many RVs were parked next to the stadium.  They did not have the distinctive look of the usual Destruction Derby crowd.  With my own, however depleted, sense of wonder, I was curious.  As I drove along the fence, I checked my peripheral vision for clues.  Just as I was pulling up to the drop-off point, I noticed something. 

"There is an elephant!" I said, and quickly reversed for a better look.  There were, in fact, two elephants standing under an awning, next to a large trailer.  Scoot, Mr. Punctuality himself, soon asked if I'd let him out, so I pulled up again and dropped him off.  Rollo asked for another look.  I parked, and we walked to the fence.

I quickly imagined a conversation like this:

"Mom, why are there elephants here?"

"They are part of a circus."  (I had just remembered the lone circus sign on the corner.)

"A circus?  Can we go?"

"Well, we're pretty busy . . . ", and much whining would ensue.

But this conversation did not come to pass.  Perhaps Rollo had seen the sign, too, and figured things out.  D2 wouldn't have noticed.  As we quietly watched, the boys admired the sinuous curves of the trunks, and asked why the elephants were swinging their tails.  Neither asked why two large, exotic mammals from India would be standing around at our suburban fairgrounds.

Why not?  It's an amazing world.  These things happen.

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