Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Boys, Celebrations, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Confidence, Contest, Life, Life Lessons, Memories | Posted on 09-08-2013

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Ah, carnival games.

My son looks at the prizes in awe. He has been talking about winning these games for days, in anticipation of our annual visit to the county fair.

Me: Those games are fixed. No one ever wins. 

To a child, carnival games are within reach. Whether it’s popping balloons with a dart, shooting hoops, tossing rings, or spraying water into a clown’s mouth. The games look so fun. The prizes look so enticing. Winning looks so easy.

But they are so rigged.

I usually support my children. You can doooo it! Go for it! I believe in you!

But carnival games are a different story. Me: It’s a waste of money. However. With $20 burning a hole in his pocket–the money was a gift from Nana–my eight-year-old son set out to win.

Me: OK. Take your money from Nana and spend it how you want.

Five dollars for two darts to pop two balloons. That son of mine, held that dart tightly, pursed his lips, and threw it hard. Pop!

His face lit up like a firecracker. I did it! My face lit up like a firecracker. He did it!

Second dart. Grip, throw, and pop! He did it again!

He won a giant gold medal, camouflaged as little stuffed orange dog. He unwadded another $5 bill. Two more darts. Well whaddya know? Two more balloons: popped!

A pair of stuffed dogs, with their cheap fabric and stitching, they may not last through Summer. But they will last forever in my son’s memory as proof.

Proof that on that glorious day at the county fair, he proved me wrong, but more importantly, he proved that he could win on his own.

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