After a fine bike ride down the Peninsula on Sunday, we dropped off the bikes at home and drove back across the bay to the Marin County Fair. We paid $7 to park . Soon as we pulled in to the lot, Charlie -- who'd been calling 'ferris wheel' over and over at intervals for the past 36 hours -- said 'no' and 'no ferris wheel.'
Did he remember that, after happy ferris-wheeling and long line-standing-for-his-flying-in-the-swing-experience at this fair on Thursday night, he'd had a major rock-the-car panic attack as we searched for a McDonalds in strange territory?
We also felt quite sure that Charlie was hoping and thinking we would end up at the fair a bit north that we went to in early June where the rides were on grass and Frank Sinatra was playing. On seeing that we were about to go to 'not that fair,' he balked and with good reason. Our visit to the Marin County Fair had started with the anxiousness of finding no parking at all (so I had to drop off Jim and Charlie) and a long walk back after the rides in a completely unfamiliar venue to the silver car, hidden away at the back of an elementary school parking lot.
On Sunday afternoon, the ride back over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, with mountains before us and blue water and small rocky islands on either side, was pleasant. We promised Charlie we'd get his favorite shrimp chow fun and rice from a restaurant near our house. He looked forward to it and waitdd most patiently for the restaurant to open at 5pm.
Charlie ate all his noodles and only half the rice (a sign that, unlike when he was younger, he knows to eat only until he is full). Then he burst into tears and, in two sudden bursts of energy, threw open the front door (and stopped -- there's a reason there's a deadbolt lock) and then grabbed the cap Jim wears under his helmet and pushed it towards him.
And started crying -- nearly weeping -- again.
'Gotta be peaceful easy before we go bike riding!' Jim assured Charlie. Silently, we counted up the reasons for a boy-with-a-mind-in-tumult: Ending of school-camp and start of summer school/actual school; an upset stomach on Saturday (signalled by his staying up all night till 7am after a Friday night of several stomping runs and hand-smacks on the wall) from an illness perhaps caught on one of the trips with school-camp (they went to many parks, beaches, and a museum or two -- all new to Charlie); accommodating to the difference of a Berkeley summer (no humidity, cool nights when the fog rolls in, a stronger sun).
I'm just very impressed Charlie had the chance to ride a ferris wheel today and said he didn't want to, and survived his disappointment.
(This photo was taken while I was waiting to get Charlie the shrimp chow fun.)