So, you can imagine the reaction of all the little old ladies (some of whom I was shocked to see still kicking around there!) who saw both my brother and me, with our own kids! Many of them have known my mom since before she was pregnant with us, for goodness sake, and now we have our own kids who are all growing up rather quickly themselves. Of course, I had a moment like that, too, when I saw a girl who used to sit across the aisle from us. She was quite a bit younger than me, maybe 10 years? I saw her walking around with three kids! Even though she's certainly old enough for that to be the case, it blew my mind a bit!
Being there brought back memories of the many hours I spent walking among the booths, considering my purchases, and enjoying the atmosphere. Back then it was a two-day event, and I could barely contain my excitement as school released on that Friday and I dashed downstairs to check things out. Often my mom had been there all day already, and I couldn't wait to check in with her. They had a full menu of food, a Christmasy feel (trees, lights, themed booth signs, music), and booths of all types. There was a sweet shop, a quilting booth, a knitting booth, toys, "attic treasures" (basically a garage sale), a kid-friendly booth that usually had grab bags, a Christmas booth, a booth that made novelty buttons (the round ones with the silver backs), and a plant booth, which was run by my grandma for years. Grandma would usually give us grandkids each $5 to run off and spend as we wished. Usually I'd make at least one button. I know, it sounds odd, but customizing your button with a picture from a magazine, or a sticker, or coloring one of the school spirit themed photocopied designs was so fun! I'd often get a grab bag, buy a tiny plant from my grandma's booth, some homemade candy, and maybe find an attic treasure I liked. The whole thing was fun and magical, probably because we could roam on our own without parental supervision. We had such a blast.
Nowadays it's certainly different. Still so many of the same faces, but everything's a bit lower key. It's only one day, the theme is now fall (cute but less magical!), and there's just not as much to see...even taking into consideration that I was smaller and everything seemed bigger back then. But it was nice. It was pretty busy and our kids definitely had fun checking things out, particularly the toy booth! My mom bought Carter and Kate blankets, and Max a pillow, all at the quilting booth. She asked about Jacob, but I didn't think he'd like any of the blankets, and he has stolen one of our grownup ones as his own anyway! He was also getting a fun weekend with Daddy, so don't feel too bad for him! Over at the toy booth, my mom bought 10 books for a dollar that were split among the kids, and Kate and Max picked out a couple things that they bought with money that (I think) they picked up somehow from our Uncle Jeff. He likes to make bets with the kids and while I missed the goings on while attending to Carter, I think that's where they got their money! Anyway, it brought back some good memories and I think the kids had fun, too.
We headed home for a quick lunch before heading out to our next stop, a Canisius College Women's Volleyball game. My cousin's wife is the coach, and it was their house that everyone had stayed at the night before. I hadn't been to one of her games in a while, so it was nice to go and introduce Carter to a new sport. He was mildly interested, though he asked to go to the bathroom an awful lot! He was interested in the logo/mascot, a griffin (half lion, half eagle) and he did tell me the next day when we saw a volleyball that you have to hit it over the net, so clearly he picked up something! The match was exciting. They won the first game, lost two, came back to win the fourth by a couple points, and then won the tie-breaker! It was nerve-wracking, but so great to see in the end.
Back at the house, we settled in for the night with a spaghetti dinner and some family time. The kids played more with the toys, but in the end it turned into a night of electronics!
|All the kids playing a game on Grandpa's iPad|
|Kate and Carter watching a movie on Kate's iPad before bed|
|Max playing on the iPad on Grandpa's lap|
|Three kids, two iPads, one chair :)|