When I was a little girl, whenever my parents mentioned their ancestors (they were heavy into genealogy at the time), I thought they were saying “Anne Sisters”. I also thought that the ATM was a never-ending supply of money. I thought parents wanted to work because they wanted to, because it was part of being a grown-up, and all grown-up things were fun.
Now that I’m a grown-up, I see how true-to-life (well, besides the babies really talking) Nickelodeon’s “The Rugrats” were. It’s been said that there’s no reality, only perception. (I disagree, but one’s perception is their reality at the time.) When you’re a kid, you think your parents make all the rules, but most simply just live by the rules. Though it’s not always fun being a grown-up, I’d never go back to being a child (though it would be nice to visit and it was easier to go to sleep). I love knowing what I know, being able to do what I do. It’s really pretty great.
I wrote the following “nursery rhyme/children’s poem” with sort of these things in mind.
The Circus at First Baptist
Tucker Clancy got all fancy,
dandied up in a monkey suit,
with a banana in his pocket,
and a packet of peanuts in his boots.
“We’re going to a circus,” his dad said, slapping him on the back,
and Tucker ran to get the tickets,
all printed on white paper with silver letters,
Mom in a frazzle, saying they only had two minutes.
“Bring both rings,” she said,
and Tucker asked, “A two ring circus?”,
but Mom was buzzing around and pinning a flower to her lapel,
muttering something about wedding warning bells.
His dad picked his own pocket,
looking quite glad,
his mom looking quite mad,
and they were on their way to the great show,
ready to see the jugglers throw.
The show was not under a big top,
but in the church across the street,
and Mom said, “Look, there’s Aunt Elsie,”
and Dad said, “The elephant in the room has come, I see.”
Tucker looked, but only saw people all gussied up,
and long white tablecloths with food spread in rows,
not a funnel cake or a corndog to be seen,
or a clown with a rainbow Afro and a big red nose.
“There’s the groom, he’s such a clown,” he heard someone say,
and Tucker looked to see,
but all he saw was a woman in white,
and nearby, a lady commenting it was a tent too tight.
“There’s Mr. Lyon,” someone said,
and Tucker went to sit down with a frown,
having seen neither mane nor tail,
thinking his parents were seeing things,
and wondering where were the monkeys with their long tails.
“Just another dog and pony show,” his dad said,
and Tucker thought his parents had went to the wrong place,
but just as he turned to the tables,
he saw a man take the big cake,
and smash it in a lady’s face.