Growing up my birthday was always on the same week as the fair. That situation had its benefits. It ensured that I would always remember the fair, and it allowed me to pretend each year that there was a festival in my honor.
As a kid the fair meant rides and the demolition derby. The derby is the social event of the year in Arkansas County. It is the place to see and be seen. I haven't been to the derby in over a decade, but it still holds a special place in my heart.
Nowadays I am a resident of Garland county. That means I can still frequent the county fair during the week of my birthday. Even though the location has changed the fair remains pretty much the same. The fair will always mean rednecks and hillbillies. It will always mean people competing for the thrilling prize of best cow, pig, chicken, duck, rabbit, and mullet. The fair certainly still means carnies that scare the life out of small children.
Even with all the constants the fair is taking on new meaning as a father. This year it meant Braden picking up ducks for a prize. Then it meant Braden wanting the duck rather than the prize which led to intense negotiations.
It meant riding the merry go round.
Most of all it meant good family fun and it always will as long as it never means Braden is barking for the yak lady or spreading pixie dust on the tilt-a-whirl like cousin Eddie's kids.