Friday, February 1, 2013

The Greatest Show On Earth...

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to chaperon my daughter's class to the circus.  Now I'm not quite sure why I volunteered to go considering how the circus and I don't exactly see eye to eye.  (In case you missed it, see this post and this post for reference.)  Is there really that much difference between the circus and 4-H?  Sure, at a 4-H event, you don't see prancing tigers and talented elephants and daredevils dangling from a rope 100 feet in the air by only their TOES, but in my mind, there are A LOT of similarities. 
(Okay, actually, well, I must admit...they have nothing in common but being able to unleash the frantic side of Lianna...and it's not pretty, y'all!)

So...The day started out pretty "normal" as in the kind of normal we see around here.  To everyone else, it may seem a bit like pure CHAOS.  Anyway...Once Merisa and I arrived at her school, her entire class along with five other classes loaded the buses that were anxiously waiting our arrival.  Granted, I've had the pleasure of traveling via those big yellow contraptions many, MANY times in the past thanks to my coaching endeavours, but I must have grown since then!  Those bus seats seemed a thousand times smaller than I remembered, which is not so good for someone who has a bad case of claustrophobia.

As I paused and wiped my brow that was now profusely sweating from fear, I noticed that the other adults on the bus were perfectly and utterly FINE!  In attempt to keep myself from becoming an outcast yet again, I told myself "You'll live!  The emergency exit is within reach.  It'll be okay since you're sitting on the aisle way.  Everything will go smoothly."

Except I wasn't actually sitting in the aisle way.  So there's that.

In attempt to keep this post somewhat less than a mile long, I have decided to end this portion of the discussion.  No one wants to hear about my INSANE phobia of riding in a vehicle while others are driving.  It's bad, y'all.  Just ask my husband!  I'm pretty sure he'll request a sedative the next time we go on a family vacation...and that's for me so I won't drive everyone mad with my fears of hitting other cars or driving off the road or not being in the right line at the right time or... 

Back to the main point.  We arrived at the circus with what seemed like a BAZILLION other buses!  Once we were seated, everyone anxiously waited for the circus to begin.  Everyone  My stomach was already in a tizzy, and I was pretty certain the stress of watching stunt after stunt would do nothing to calm down my nerves. 

Yep, I was right!

Mind you, I was sitting next to my daughter and her friends.  Seeing how she recently transferred to this school, most of her classmates I had never met up until this point.  And everyone knows how important it is to make a "good" first impression. 

As I peered towards the three rings of fun, I noticed a rather LARGE ramp that seemed to go nowhere. What would be the point of that? A ramp must be connected to something. It IS the circus, but seriously, we're not talking about the X Games. Surely, they must still be setting up the stage. Yeah, keep telling yourself that, Lianna. Wishful thinking!


The announcer came over the loud speaker sharing his words of wisdom.  As he began introducing the first act, engines started revving in the distance.  Then, dirt bikes entered the arena, and it appeared that the drivers were in, young enough to still be wearing diapers!  Okay, I'm sure they were a bit older, but you get my drift.

They circled the ring over and over.  I thought to myself "That's interesting.  They're just going to drive in circles.  Man, there was no reason to get all worked up.  Everyone's going to play it safe...for the kids." 

Obviously, I didn't get the memo.

I glanced over my shoulder and that lovely RAMP once again caught my eye.  The light bulbs started flashing and sirens started screaming!

Surely, not!  No.  Never.  They wouldn't do that!

Oh, yes, they would!

Those little boys (who would be incredibly furious if they read this and were actually middle-aged men) headed for the much awaited RAMP!  My heart started pumping out of control.  My palms began to sweat.  My stomach dislodged and moved its way to my mouth. I tried to swallow, but I was having a difficult time breathing. 

And then, it happened.

The first bike made its way up the ramp, floated in the air approximately 100 feet and landed on the mat on the other side of the arena!  And if that wasn't bad enough, the next biker dared the same feat only it was much too simple for him.  He added a lovely little handstand on top of the handle bars while the bike endured some "air time!"


Where were their mothers?  Did they sneak out and practice these maneuvers while no one was watching?  Oh. My. Word!

And they just kept going, and going, and going...  It went on for what seemed like a lifetime.  One stunt after another.  Each rider performing a trick a little more death-defying than the one before him. 

I was on edge.  Gasping with each movement.  Praying every time someone rode up that ramp.  Shouting "Please, you really don't want to do that.  Do you?" 

Guess I didn't scream loud enough 'cause they kept on their merry life-threatening way! 

In the midst of my despair, I glanced at my daughter assuming she would need to be comforted from the terror.  To my surprise (actually, I should've known), she was not frantic, but rather calm instead.  I could barely breathe and was certain that I might pass out at any moment, and there she was (along with the rest of the audience) with no worry in sight.

Were they watching the same show that I was?  Did they not see how incredibly dangerous those stunts were?  Someone could crash at any time.  They could miss the mat.  I could go on and on, but merely writing this story is making me gasp for air. 

So my shrills and screams as each bike left the ramp in hope to make it to the far-far away mat did not impress my daughter.  Nor did my never-ending array of frightened jumps and nervous shouts of "Be careful!  You don't want to do that!  Where's the safety net?"

When I asked my ever-so brave daughter if she was frightened, she gave me one of those "Seriously, mom?" looks like any tween girl would do.  "Of course not, mom.  Why would I be?", she shared with disgust as her friends sitting nearby chuckled to themselves.

Well, because.  Because, that's why!

Yep, that first impression...the one that's so important...didn't quite go as planned.  Instead of being the "cool mom" or the "fun mom", I'm the "crazy-lady-that-screams-way-too-much-and-freaks-out-about-everything" mom.  I was the next spectacle to take center stage.

I'm THAT mom!


*And that was just the first act!  Don't get me started about the lady dangling from a bar using only her TOES all the while a man riding on a motorcycle spins them in circles!  Oh, did I mention they were way up in the air without a net?!  Nerves of steel I do not have!

**Sorry, I would share pictures of the insane stunt(s), but I was shaking so badly the last thing I thought to do was go for the camera!  Please accept my deepest apologies.

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