At the end of Red’s first week at his new school, the school was having their annual spring carnival. Red wanted to go because it had been hyped up at school. Paul wanted to go because he knew we should hobnob and make friends. I did not want to go. I had received an invitation to attend Baby Loves Disco at the same time in downtown Dallas and review it for Cherry Blossoms and I knew that no one makes friends at school carnivals.
To all of us this was a no-brainer.
It took me until the last minute to convince everyone that my event would be way more fun, but by the time I did so the guest list had already been created and I had lost my chance for free admission.
Andrea tried to console me via text, reminding me that my consolation prize was a carnival and that’s not a bad thing. Besides, this way the kids would go to bed at bedtime and that’s worth buckets of goodness right there.
So while Paul worked late I took the boys to the school, vowing that while I would go and be a good sport, I was not, under any circumstances, going to make friends. Fortunately for me it was so crowded that I didn’t even have to make eye contact with anyone more than half my age.
Truth be told, the event was a bit much for me. It was so crowded, it was so … I don’t even know how to describe the assault on my senses, and it wasn’t my beloved Franklin Elementary. It was generic, suburban, sugar-filled, and narrated with pop music dance offs; I realized for the first time that we would miss this year’s World Fest at Franklin, that I would never again participate in a carnival with foods and performances celebrating the cultures and languages represented at our small, family-like school. I didn’t want the cheap plastic trinkets from China that they were hawking as prizes, I wanted a caprese sandwitch freshly made by my friends. I didn’t want to listen to the Justin Bieber contest, I wanted to listen to throngs of children singing in languages I can’t speak. I didn’t want to watch the Dynamite dance off, I wanted to watch children in traditional garb dance the Tarantella and the Flamenco.
While the boys paid their tickets to break a board I absent-mindedly filled out forms handed to me for a drawing for a free month at the karate school sponsoring that booth. They were a showy school with big patches and emblems; they did a karate-fied dance routine to music and lured children in with their snazz. They were everything I had come to avoid when searching for a martial arts school.
But three days later I got a call from them saying Blue had won the free month. I ponied up the cash for Red to have a month as well, bought them both uniforms, and spent several nights sewing on those ridiculous patches. I haven’t comitted to longer than a month and the jury is still out as to whether I will after only two lessons. I have, however, changed my opinion of the karate school. They may not be what I’m looking for, but they are what children are looking for. And I finally realized that if I signed the boys up at my dream karate school they’d likely hate it.
Turns out missing out on free admission to Baby Loves Disco wasn’t a total a bummer after all.