“Listen up,” I leaned in, grabbed my five-year-old son by the shoulder and whispered in his ear. “Don’t even think about doing this at home.”
It was his very first circus, and he marveled at the multitude of stunts, tricks, jumps and daring moves the members of the traveling troupe performed.
“Big deal,” I muttered to my husband and gestured toward the center ring where a trio of canines jumped through flaming rings. “I could train our Golden Retriever to do that. It might singe her tummy fur a bit, but I’d train her to duck and cover too.”
He chuckled but stopped as soon as he got a glimpse of the tricky dogs’ trainer.
Then he uttered a low, “Whoa.”
She wore a skin-tight leotard with thigh-high black boots studded with shiny, silver sequins that traveled up her long, long legs. Blonde curls rained down her back in ringlets to her waist, and she strode around the ring like the 6-foot Amazon goddess she undoubtedly was.
Damn circus freaks.
I mean, OK, I’m sure she’s a very nice gal and all. But, dammit, I didn’t spend $12 a ticket to get my self-esteem slammed by a blonde jackhammer on a Saturday afternoon.
I bumped him with my elbow and snickered, “Maybe I outta get myself a pair of those boots.” Pause. “Of course, I put on a pair of those things, I’m wearing them as stilts. Probably fall over and break a leg.”
But he never even heard me.
Without taking his eyes off the new love of his life, he leaned in a little closer to the action and asked, “Is she wearing a thong? I think she’s wearing a thong.” He leaned in so close he almost fell out of his chair. “Yep, she’s definitely wearing a thong.”
I laughed and reached out a hand to pull him back, “Careful there, Romeo. She’s not wearing a thong. Do you see her outfit? There’s barely enough room for her in it, let along standard issue undies.” I sniffed in disdain as a woman who’ll never be a Size 2 and added, “She’s definitely going commando.”
And....uh...that’s when his head exploded.
It was the loud thud, followed by a thunk, a boom and a crash that alerted me to danger upstairs.
Like all moms who have been there, done that, I waited a brief moment to hear if the sounds would be followed by a wail of despair signifying broken bones or the deafening silence that meant something else was broken.
Like a chair, a bed...or a skull.
After a brief moment of silence, I headed upstairs to assess the damage. I walked into my son’s room and politely asked, “Just what in the heck is going on? You let monkeys loose up here?”
He leapt up from his prone position on the floor and landed like a cat on his feet. “Just practicing my back flips, Mom.”
I nodded, “Back flips, eh? What for?”
“I’m in training,” he answered with a smile on his face. “I’m gonna be a trapeze artist when I grow up.”
Sigh. Like that’ll come with health benefits. Guess we can cash in that college fund now.
“I think I’ll trade you in for one of those bendy girls.”
I looked over at my husband and eloquently answered, “Eh?”
He laughed and said, “Remember those two contortionists? At the circus? Folding themselves into the tiny little box like that?” He paused. “That was hot.”
I was soooo not amused.
“Please,” I sighed. “They were like 14.”
“OK. Maybe I’ll look them up in about six years,” he conceded.
“Yeah,” I snarked. “You do that.”