My dad was the P.E. and Health teacher at my elementary school. The school was affiliated with the local university, so he was both faculty at the college, and an elementary school teacher. One of the unique things about the college was that it had a circus. One of the only two universities with a college circus (I think). So my dad decided that he would start a circus at the elementary school as well.
I think this highlights the difference between me and my dad. I come up with things like "wouldn't it be great if we changed the way that bananas are sold?" and then I do nothing. My dad does things like starting circuses.
So from 2nd grade - 8th grade, I was in the circus. The circus traveled to nursing homes, and the mall, and halftime of basketball games to perform. So being in a circus leads to an interesting childhood. Having a dad that started the circus and loves going to other circuses really opens your eyes.
My mom likes traveling to big cities. My dad doesn't. So my mom learned that she could convince my dad to drive her to the big city if there was a circus in town. So most of our vacations were scheduled around the circus. We've seen a Russian circus, other kids circuses, a few Asian circuses, Cirque (more times than I can count), we've been to juggling conventions, we've been to the Ringling Brothers museum. The list goes on and on. I think there was actually a 'soul circus' at one point, but I can't back that up. We would also do street performing during family vacations. Mostly juggling outside with a hat on the ground for donations.
Oh, and then there are the clowns. My dad was the director, ringmaster guy of the kids circus for 20 years. It went from 60 kids to over 200 per year. To show their appreciation, the parents of the kids in the circus would always buy my dad clown figurines. So my house always had an obscene number of clowns. And keep in mind that about 50% of clowns are sort of creepy looking. My mom was not a big fan of the clowns. Or the G.D. Clowns, as she liked to call them.
My dad wasn't just a circus founder/director guy. He found a little-known loophole in the college circus, that allowed faculty members to perform in the circus. So well into his 50s, my dad performed in the college circus. I'm pretty sure there were about 100 college undergrads and one AARP member.
I could go on and on about my circus life, but I've gotta get going. Kate's flying into town today, and I've gotta get to the airport. Oh, and my parents are watching a movie about tight wire walking tonight. I can't make this stuff up.