Losing And Winning

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Home from the fair. I’m waiting for a laundry load to finish, so it is time to put my feet up with some hot cocoa. We had a great night walking around and taking in the Bellville Street Fair, aka World’s Fair.
We were able to park pretty close to the action, and walked in where the rides and food vendors began. It is funny how I operate now as a mom; the first thing I thought of when we stepped onto the ‘midway’ was “since we are so close to the restrooms, let’s go!” And we did. Then, we walked through the Merchant Tent. One of the first booths was Aliyah’s friend Sophie, who with her family’s help has developed a paracord survivor bracelet business- too cute. They are calling their company SoLo, the first two letters of her and her sister’s names. Luke joked that Aliyah would be across from her in the merchant tent next year, underselling her wares with her AlSa business. Sounds like a cross between Amway and Avon.
Back at the animal tents I noticed a kid toss something on the ground that looked like a carrot, or a small knobby sweet potato. When we walked by a bit later, I realized the object was one of those models of a human fetus that RPS, our local crisis pregnancy center, was sharing at their table. I couldn’t let the little guy stay there on the ground, so I returned it to the RPS table. I tried not to spend too much time in thought about what happened or condemn the children who threw it; no need to ‘read into’ their actions like it meant more than just kids being kids.
Coming out of the animal tents, I realized Kenan had lost his binky. I decided to retrace my steps, hoping to find it as I didn’t know where the other one was at home. And, hoping I wouldn’t find it in a pile of manure.
I walked all the way back to where we had been talking with Sadie, Sophie’s mom, in the merchant tent, and there it was! I was really glad to find it on relatively ‘clean’ pavement!
We walked down to hear the high school marching band, only to show up just as they were breaking ranks and going home. Oh, well. Looking forward to tomorrow’s main stage event- The Buckeye Country Cloggers! We have video of the kids dancing along with them last year. Such fun.
While there we run into a lot of people we know from church, and when we saw one couple, we stopped for a while to talk to them. We were standing next to the kiddie carousel, and some of the kids were watching the kids ride and asking if they could go. I could easily answer, “we aren’t going to ride any rides tonight” but that really meant “we aren’t going to ride any rides any night” since Luke thinks it is creepy how all these rides fold up to trailer size and get carted away from these fairs. And, I guess someone just died on a fair ride. Not happening to us.
From the carousel we continued on to the fire house, where Aliyah’s sunflower entries were. There were many cute vegetable and flower entries, and we moseyed up and down the two aisles. As we crossed the midway to head to the library, Luke noticed Caleb, age 6, wasn’t with us. What a gripping fear that was- it was not the most crowded night of the fair being only Wednesday, but still in that moment I looked around me thinking, so many people! Where could he be? I hurried to the fire house- no Caleb. Came back to tell Luke- he bolted back up the midway looking for him. I went back by the fire house, then down the midway. Came back to the kids, started the midway in the other direction, breathing my prayers, in and out, in and out. A couple of things came to mind:
-give him wisdom to know what to do
-surround him and protect him
As the kids and I started down the midway the second time, I glanced back to see Luke, hand in hand with Caleb. Such a beautiful sight! Luke herded us all into the alley, and explained how he found him. Seems Caleb stayed at the carousel, not noticing we had moved on to the fire house. He then circled the ride, looking for us, when a police officer must have noticed him and asked him if he was lost. The details are a little sketchy from here on because Caleb says ‘he forgets’ what was said, but apparently a man from our church, Abe, was also standing nearby and recognized Caleb. When Abe saw Luke looking for Caleb, he came running and led Luke back to Caleb and the officer. I’m totally making cookies tomorrow for Abe and the Bellville Police Department! I think it is interesting how the LORD answered both my prayers, before I even knew to pray them. We didn’t know he was lost until we’d left the fire house, and he would have been with the police officer long before then. Thank You, God!
Aliyah also entered three photos in the fair, and two of them won ribbons. When I saw that one of the winners was the one of Caleb at Kingwood Center, tears came to my eyes. So strange how he again has been the one we lose, but also the subject of a winning work of art.100_7050