They say that life is a circus.
Well, who I am to argue when I have one granddaughter most at home with a microphone in her hand and stage makeup on her face, I have a grandson whose major pastime is climbing walls (with the help of grips and rocks), another grandson whose favourite dress up is his clown outfit and another granddaughter who spends a great deal of time upside down.
Essentially, I have my own little troupe of performers.
And I get to watch them all the time.
Actually, I get to watch them whether I want to or not.
Clearly their passion for performance grips them firmly when they visit their grandparents and the urge to sing or dance or do the splits overwhelms them. In fact it takes over any ability to pick up toys, prepare for bed or eat vegetables. All that remains is that unshakeable and primal urge to eat chocolate.
But this school holidays, I got a break from their own performances and got to watch them watching. Oh yes, the lure of the sawdust, the smell of the paint, the acrobatics, the gasps from the crowd were an obvious choice of activity for my little clown and little acrobat.
And there was plenty of new material for them to emulate when I took them to that circus tent on our Gold Coast holiday.
There is something about the circus that brings out your inner child. It ignites something innocent in you. It makes you forget for a moment where you are.
The simple humour of a clown who falls over a lot, the hand-on-your-heart relief when the aerialist is caught by the catcher, the beauty of the contortionist, the precision of the animals. It all becomes more wonderful with popcorn and dagwood dogs.
Or is it just me? Am I still holding onto a childhood of circuses and annual Ekka excursions? Does it bring back my joy of playing in sawdust in Dad’s garage workshop? That smell will forever conjure up my happy inner child.
And just as they are getting excited about another year at school, a new horizon opens before them.
I’m sure their parents are thrilled. No medical or courtroom careers are beckoning when there are walls to climb, trapezes to swing on and clown suits to wear.
I’m just glad this circus had no lions to tame.