Where can you go to see people you haven’t seen in years, or that you just saw yesterday, or anything in between? Where can you go to indulge in deep fried Oreos, social frivolity, breathe in the smell of Cotton Candy, watch lights screaming with color, listen to music on blast, take in art, drink the best lemonade you’ve ever had (its a southern thing), watch Motocross, a demolition derby, a lawnmower pull, and be physically sick from the main attractions, and miserable the entire time but you’re there and stay for hours because you love it anyway? The County Fair.

The heat. The sea of people. The standing in line waiting for your turn on the Ferris Wheel or the Himalaya. Needing a bathroom and it’s about a half mile away from you. Eating the food even though you know it’s not going to taste as good as it smells and you won’t feel well the next day. Good times!

My parents, I realize now, must have suffered some hellish days during my fair-going years. It’s one of those things you get through as a parent and wonder, “How did I ever WANT to do this when I was younger?” Answer: You were younger. You didn’t have a great concept of time, heat, or money. All you knew were friends, rides, food, and a day out of school!

It was great!

Yeah! Back in the day!

fair himalaya

Autism can hinder grasping those aforementioned concepts. But so can the fair. I wonder if both together suspends time, heat, money, and possibly other physical, emotional, and/or spatial awareness to a greater degree? I know the empathy leaves. I’m worn out and in a puddle of sweat after 5 hours and my daughter asks, “Can I ride this again before we leave?” I think to myself, “Sure kid! I’ll just go over behind the Fun Slide and die. Have a great time!” But you patiently explain why if she does you won’t be able to make it back to the vehicle and drive 25 minutes home. She acquiesces.

The spinning and sense of free-fall seem to suspend her sensory disorders. I wonder if that’s why she loves the fair so much? Even the music on blast doesn’t bother her when she’s on the Himalaya.

You gotta love the county fair.


fair slide