Every year my small town has a country fair. It comes complete with horse and tractor pulls as well as barns filled with chickens, goats and cows. There are tents piled high with locally grown flowers and vegetables and cases exploding with creative adaptations of traditional pies and cakes. Basically, it's a run down carnival in an overly artsy town, but it's a tradition, and well, I'm a sucker for traditions.
This year I was lucky enough to attend the fair with my sister and her daughter who is 3. Now, I can say without a doubt, my niece is the person I love the most in this entire world. She's extremely beautiful with big blue eyes and thick eyelashes. She's shockingly smart. Her smile could make the sun rise and her laugh lifts you up so high, you think you've actually reached Heaven.
And, well, she's a freak.
This, I know, comes from growing up with my sisters and I, who, admittedly, are also freaks. And by freaks, I mean we're loud and silly and random and boisterous and basically forget other people are alive when the 3 of us are together. So, naturally, my niece is also...let's call her-expressive.
The minute the car started, she asked for "The Crazy Frog" song to be played. This is funny. Not only because she's 3, but also because she knows the words, and starts singing them in the silly crazy frog voice. She also has dance moves and hand gestures that she is executing, soaking up the laughter that is pouring out of my sister and I.
Silly Ham Bone.
When we arrived at the fair, she began talking about how old she was. She said, "I am 3, but in 30 days I will be 4." My sister corrected her and told her that she'd be 4 in April. She giggled and said, "No, I am going to be 4 soon." and kept walking. Then about 30 seconds later she said, "Am I 4 now?" and laughed.
As we walked past the animals my niece was dancing to the music playing in the background as well as mumbling something to the effect of: "Laa DEE La la lala Ladaladalllllaaa" Her dancing was Bohemian like, waving her hands in the air, looking to the sky and swinging her hips unabashedly. While walking.
And also, I've never seen anyone, whether they are 3 or not, dive into a barrel of stuffed animals with as much conviction as she did. Let me tell you, she was VERY sure she wanted 2 ducks...not a duck and a crazy frog, like we tried to convince her to get-a la Crazy Frog song as mentioned above.
The best, best, BEST though was when we went to see the goats. There were tons of them all in cages and she had no fear whatsoever. She simply walked up to them and pet them, laughing at their ears or their funny hair. But then, out of the blue, it was as if she got an overwhelming surge of love for these goats. She took one of the goat's head and put her hands on either side of it's face, kind of cradling it and started like, massaging it or something, saying "Hi little goat" or something like that. I'm sorry I can't describe it to you better, but my sister and I were on the floor because we were laughing so hard.
Then she kissed it on the mouth and said, "AAAAHAAAHAHAHA! I just kissed the goat Mommy! He loves me!"
Ok. Really though, wouldn't you love to be able to live life again with that much vigor and expression and sense of exploration and no fear? I not sayin' go kiss goat or anything, but it'd be nice to kiss a boy for once and to exclaim, "AAAAHAAAHAHAHA! I just kissed a boy Mommy! He loves me!" and not worry about the looks you'd get...
*And by freakazoid, I mean, "I love you more than I love hot dogs"