A day well spent at the Ex

Since our family spends one full day at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition every single summer, it’s something we all remember fondly throughout the year.

It’s also become a way to notice how very, very quickly time is passing.

Then … Now

This year at the Ex marked the first time my husband and I didn’t need to buy ride tickets or bracelets for ourselves — our petite six-year-old could go on every “big” ride she wanted, without an adult. She was so proud of herself.

(Technically she was a smidge under the line, but no one seemed too concerned about measuring her. It wasn’t like that scene in Big when little Josh Baskin is humiliated at the fair.)

So we didn’t ride. We watched and waited and patiently followed them to the next ride for more watching and waiting. Most of our friends were doing the same, and we all marvelled at how big the kids were getting. Before we know it, we said, we’ll be dropping them off at the gates!

The rides are mostly set up in the same spots each time, and we all have the layout memorized. The uneven dirt, the rubber mats covering the power cables, the clicking mechanical sounds from the ride motors, the smell of sugar mixed with grease — it’s all the same, every year.

C with her first candy apple, and D riding the Merry-Go-Round when he was too small to go alone

We have so many wonderful family memories at the Ex, and in a way, it was like walking back in time. Whenever I stood at the metal railings surrounding each ride, waving at the kids and taking blurry pictures as they zoomed by, I was overcome by how much had changed …

Big kids riding the Tilt-a-Whirl with their friends. No parents required.

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene … 

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