Posts Tagged ‘Performing arts’

The Circus Lesson – Why a Kid Thinks One Act is Better than the Others

Ringling Brothers Circus

Ringling Brothers Circus (Photo credit: Bob n Renee)

Recently my kids and I went to the circus.  It was one of the smaller ones that comes to town for just a day and had that feeling of circuses from years past.  At intermission we were even allowed to visit  the floor to ride elephants, ponies, and have photos taken with all kinds of exotic animals.  The performances were quite dramatic as well – tiger tamers, motorcycle stunts, flying trapezes, magic, juggling (even with flames and knives), gymnastic routines, and trained dogs jumping through hoops.  There was even an act where a man and woman would change outfits right in front of your eyes.  I still can’t figure out how they pulled that off.  It was impressive to say the least.


At the end of the show, I asked my kids, ages 7 and 5, what they liked best about the circus.  I would have lost a lot of money for I was sure I knew their answers even before they said them.  My daughter loves gymnastics and horses these days and I was sure she would say one of those acts.  My son has always loved tigers and so my guess was with that performance.

But how mistaken I was.  Of all the acts we saw, what both of my kids said almost at the same time and with such enthusiasm and gusto that it took me a bit by surprise “The chairs!”  I stopped dead in my tracks for a brief moment.

The chair act.  Really?  This one act lasted only a few minutes.  It seemed to pale in comparison to the other more glitzy, fancy, and magical acts.  The chairs, really?

For this act, a man took one straight-back wooden chair and placed it on a table.  Then he took another straight-back wooden chair and placed it strategically on top of the first chair.  Then he added a third chair.  Then a fourth.  I never counted how many in total he added.  I am guessing six.  After he added the last, he gently climbed up the sides and then stood on top of the chair mountain, arms extended in triumph and music trumpeting his success.

The chair act, really?  I was still thinking about this as we walked to our car.  When I asked my kids why this was the best act, they didn’t really have an answer for me.  My son stated, “It was cool!”  My daughter basically said the same thing as she jumped up and down clapping.

What was it that got them so excited about this act?  Frankly, I was much more impressed with several of the other acts.  This one didn’t hold my attention.  I pondered this some more as I drove home.  Rounding into my driveway, I struck upon something I shared with the kids.  When I told them, they looked at me with that sweet child-stare that says without saying “Of course mom – that’s what we said.  What took you so long?”

As the car rolled into the garage, I stopped, turned off the car and then faced the kids in the backseat.  “Was the chair act awesome because it was something you can do too?”

After that sweet look and wide-eyed gesture paled, my son squinted his eyes, cocked his head ever so slightly and quietly said, “Yeah, but really I can do all of it if I really wanted to Mom.”

I was so proud…….


Stacked (Photo credit: hypercatalecta)

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