Sometimes your adventure is in your very neighborhood. At a fair where you learn to “just be.” 

We got a taste of spending a bit more time at the West Linn Old Time Fair last year, and this year matched that, attending two of the three days and a longer stretch on Saturday.

(With Camp Tilikum for Augustin and basketball camp at Multnomah University –where I teach –for the twins during Week 5 of Summer, I told the boys we’ll call West Linn Fair our Week 5 adventure!)

On the first day of the fair, Friday, the boys mentioned wanting to get an “all-you-can-ride” pass again –We had purchased one at the end of the fair last year on the last day.  And this year, the first evening of the fair being the coronation night and a bit later, I decided to not get the all-you-can-ride pass for the boys as I was tired and didn’t really want to stay all evening.

But then, the boys were having so much fun, and other kids  they knew were asking them to go on rides, and I saw people I knew and I met one of the carnival workers who used to be homeless, so I soon regretted not having purchased the all you can ride pass for the kids. Individual tickets began adding up. It  was neat to see Augustin, 8, recognize a couple of friends at the fair whom he met this week at Camp Tilkum where my husband  was a counselor for second and third graders. And when this little 8-year-old freckled kid looks at you and asks politely if he can go on just one more ride with this other really cute little 8-year-old freckled boy, well, it is hard to say no.

On the second day of the fair, Saturday morning, we attended the annual parade in old Willamette. Talk about old fashioned. I love that about it. Anyone can register. The twins carried banners for various parade entry winners as a service for Boy Scouts while Augustin, Chris and I watched. Gus mainly went for the candy the parade entries threw out to parade-goers.

After the parade, we wandered down to Willamette Park where the rides were. And, first things first. Elephant Ears. Then Lion Burgers, the home made fries. But, what the boys really wanted to do was to go on rides. So, we bought them the all-you-can-ride passes to make up for last night. My husband and I  just went with the flow, slowing down our usual agenda to enjoy watching the kids dash from ride to ride. The large swings and the Ferris wheel, the roller coaster, the sizzler. To see them together hanging out, the three of them, and also to see them meet up with some school friends who happened to be there and camp friends and church friends was great. I just sit back and watch from a distance.

The laughter, the sweetness of innocent fun, the pure joy on our kids’ faces lost in the magic of a carnival ride. As a parent, to not be in a hurry, to take the time to watch the kids, to just be there with them, to experience the fair alongside them.

The essence of Adventure.

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