Lynn and I took our son, Michael, and our granddaughter, Charli, to the circus last week.
Charli told her daddy, "This is the best day ever!"
She loved the circus and she clapped excitedly for every act.
There were miniature white horses with brightly colored manes and tails, dancing elephants, a tiger in a cage, acrobatic dogs, clowns and dancers, motorcyclists in a metal ball, and balloons and cotton candy and popcorn and hot dogs. What else could a little girl ask for?
Charli saw the llamas and the goats and monkeys in the petting zoo, slid down the inflatable slide, watched the other children as they rode on an elephant (that wasn't for her, though), and she even got her face painted like a pirate (her choice).
Charli told her daddy that she wished she could stay at the circus forever.
It was a wonderful experience for all of us. What a blessing it is to see the joy and thrill on the face of that precious little girl. Her daddy and her grandparents enjoyed the circus, too.
My earliest memory of a circus was when my parents took us to the Big Top that was set up in a large field on the edge of town, in a wheat field just outside Grand Forks, N.D. That was back in the '50s and I'm sure I felt the same way as Charli: that was the best day ever!
I had never seen a tent that big before. And I haven't to this day either. You could see that striped canvas tent with flags waving in the wind way off in the distance as we drove down the road toward the circus.
There were three rings set up inside that huge tent. We watched the opening parade with delight, as the horses and elephants came riding before the crowd, with horse drawn wagons filled with clowns, and all the acrobats and other performers filling in the line.
There was a lion tamer walking before a big cage of lions followed by a cage of tigers.
My brother and sister and I sat with mom and dad on the high wooden bleachers and watched the parade and the show in wonder.
I've always loved the circus!
We took our children to a big circus in Memphis when they were young. They were more interested in the light sabers we had bought for them than any of the shows that were going on down on the main floor. We were sitting way up high on the bleachers in that auditorium where it was dark and the boys sat there waving those light sabers, oblivious to the action below us.
The circus hits town, some places for one night, and other places for a couple of days, maybe a week. But then they pack up and move on.
Lots of kids think it would be fun to pack up and move with the circus. That life looks exciting to the outsider; colorful and filled with wonder.
But, we return to our own lives, back to life as we know it. For many of us, back to our own little circuses at home.
I hope you enjoy life under your Big Top this week.
Live your life to the fullest, because this is the best day ever!
-- Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.