Last week was Field Days in Addison County. If you don’t know, that means the county fair. A pretty big deal around here.
If I’m totally honest (and why not? this is only public…) I have mixed feelings about the fair.
On one hand, it’s a fun and community-minded thing to do. There’s a long tradition of county fairs in rural places, and when I read “Corgiville Fair,” I always find the idea very charming. I think it’s nice to see all the work that people have put into the things that they’re showing. They’re so proud – both kids and grown ups.
On the other hand, it’s a lot of hot sweaty people, usually mud, and deep fried food, including one that’s just called Fried Dough. There’s no beating around the bush there. The animals are cute, but then I want to take a shower when I get home.
John went to the fair with his camp this year, and Matt and I both felt a tad guilty that we hadn’t been the ones to take him. We actually planned to meet him there and hang out for a while, but the campers came back to town before we could get there. In the end, I think it turned out for the best.
In truth, John had much, much more fun at the fair with camp than he would have had with us. He went on rides that we probably wouldn’t have taken him on (and definitely not six times in a row). He ate blue cotton candy, which we probably wouldn’t have bought him. He ran around out there for about five hours, and that’s probably four hours more than he would have gotten from either Matt or me.
This is one of the nice things about camp. Camp counselors are not surrogate parents. They’re not out there doing what we would do in any given situation. As (at least in this case) non-parents, they’re holding the reins more loosely than we would. And like good babysitters, they’re a lot more fun than us. I think that’s one of good things about camp: supervised risk taking. The fair is one example, but summers are packed with others.
So the bad news is: I missed the fair this year. The good news is: the member of the Jennings family who should have been there, was there. And he had a ball. I have only minimum guilt about not being the one to take him. It’s a win win.