Last night, the circus was in town. I had a really good time. The place was filled with small children and families. I loved watching the little kids, with their plastic souvenir treasures. I loved watching them holding onto their parents' hands. I loved watching little families on an outing.
During a bit of a lull, a couple of teenaged girls came by. They were the only ones at our stand. They were cheerful and friendly, and stood in front of me, staring at our menu, trying to decide what they wanted. I would have placed them to be in early high school, probably. Behind them, a clown strolled by. "Hey look, a clown!" I exclaimed.
They turned around and both positively squealed with delight. "Ohmygod, a clown!!!" From nowhere, disposable cameras came flying out, and they both went running after the clown. It had stopped to greet a little child, and they hung back politely until it started to walk away again. The clown probably thought teenagers weren't interested in clown-conversation. These two were however, and they each took turns enthusiastically hugging the clown while the other girl took a picture. They were both taller than the clown.
I was smiling and laughing at the sight. The guy working the register next to me said under his breath, "Just think, it won't be more than a year or two before these girls won't be caught dead anywhere near a circus or a clown."
I nodded; it was so true. So many teens go through that moody, angsty phase, where a circus would be far too un-cool for them. "Actually, I would have thought they would already be there," I agreed. "Maybe they're already past it." After you get past the bitter too-cool-for-anything stage, you often reach a stage where it's just fun to be childish again, and as enthusiastic and silly as possible. (I think I'm still in that stage.)
The girls came running back to me, grinning and giggling. "I can't believe we got pictures with a clown!" I looked at them, both wearing makeup, nicely done hair, cute clothes. I had no idea how old they were. Maybe they'd turn bitter later on, or it had already happened. Or perhaps they'd avoided it somehow. It didn't really matter....I enjoyed their fun and enthusiasm, and was glad to have seen them that circus night.