Taking Advantage of Local Opportunities, or How I Spent Tuesday Watching Cars Get Smashed

  This week marks the 75th year of Chelsea’s Community Fair.  If I’m remembering/hearing the gossip correctly, it’s the longest running fair in Michigan…or the biggest…or something.  …I’m not really a “fair person”, can you tell?

  Neither my Mr. or I were ever the 4H type of kids, so neither of us quite “get” the fair.  I find looking at the animals interesting for a few minutes, but I’m not going to be in the livestock barn noting the finer points of the critters’ upbringing.  I’m more likely to be the one standing somewhat uncomfortably back from the pen saying “yup…that’s a pig…”.
  …but one of my good friends from the mom’s group I started works on cars for the destruction derby with her husband, so I decided to haul the critter over and see what he thought.  (The Mr. got left at home to cook us dinner).
  You may look at this picture and think he wasn’t enjoying himself much.  You’d be dead wrong.
  We stayed for 4 races…a full hour past his usual bedtime at the racetrack…and when I asked him if he was ready to go home and have dinner with Daddy, he said “No!” and begged to stay until the tractors finished pushing all the cars out of the rink.
  I’ve never seen him so excited about anything as when he describes how the cars crashed into each other and “broke their lights off”.
  If you’ve never been to a destruction derby (I hadn’t), the basic concept is this: a dozen or so cars, usually old, mostly metal, stripped down cars are put into an arena the size of about half a football field.  They then proceed to run into each other until the tires fall off, the body gets in the way of their moving forward or something in the engine goes.  It’s a little like jousting, but in Cadillacs.
  I’m sure sitting next to an expert helped, but I couldn’t believe how much fun we had.  We didn’t wind up going back for the derbies the other nights, simply because it messed up bedtime too badly (both for G and my sleepy self), but I’m so glad we made the decision to go at least one night.
  …it does make me wonder how many other things I’ve written off as “not my thing” that I’m missing out on.  As a parent it can be really hard to not force our own personal likes and dislikes onto our children, but I think that it’s important to do our best to let them explore as many facets of the world as possible.   And hey, you never know where your little one (or you!) will find their next passion!

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