First Trip to the Circus – a geekdaddy guest post

Ever since I started this blog the geekdaddy has had an open invitation to post things over here. He has got his own blog, but that’s all serious and photography-related, so I have always given him the opportunity to share my space here too. He’s joined in with a few of my more memorable video blogs in the past, but today I am sharing with you the first written post he’s wanted to publish, where he talks about taking our daughter on her first trip to the circus. In a way I wish I could have gone with them, but in another way I love sitting back and watching the father/daughter bond develop…

There are studies that show children who are exposed to more experiences and cultures when they’re young grow up to do be more successful in later life. This makes total sense to me so when I saw the local theatre was hosting the Chinese State Circus I jumped at the chance to take the geekdaughter to see the show. It was expensive but when it comes to spending money I regard this as extremely good value. Of all the things my parents did with me as a child the ones I remember most were those where I could tell my parents had gone to of their way to show me something special – rare – and grown up. I don’t know how old I was, certainly under 10, but I clearly recall sitting with my Dad watching Segovia play a concert. My dad was a fan of classical guitar and had impressed on me that this was a grown up concert and I was expected to behave for a number of hours. I think I did and I particularly remember that becoming more difficult as the master played a second and third encore. It’s a very misty but treasured memory partly because it was something I would rarely if ever get to do but also because it was me and my dad and I was expected to act above my age in return for that special experience. These are the moments where we grow up a little each time.

Waiting for the show to begin

Needless to say the geekdaughter was a treasure at the Circus last night. The show was startling, especially considering that the troupe was only about 25 incredibly talented individuals. The geekdaughter and I whispered wows together each time a new and amazing stunt was performed. I bought her stuff – when asked what she wanted I’d hoped she would want a Chinese fan but she asked for a “lightsabre”. She got both. We ate popcorn (one of the highlights for the geekdaughter) and i generally gave her 100% of my attention for the whole time. By about halfway through the second half I could see she was flagging and I said so to her. She nodded and said, “is it nearly finished daddy?”. I said it was and she remained well behaved and attentive for the rest of the show.

I know what she’s like. Directly after the show she could recall little except the clown pouring popcorn over someone’s head. I asked her which of the things she’d seen she’d most like to try for herself and she said, “throwing popcorn at people”. But since then it’s been going around in her head and she’s talked about the warrior monks and their feats of strength and the men jumping from pole to pole. It’s all coming back to her little by little and each thing she remembers teaches her that life is not limited only to what mummy and daddy can do. We should fill our children’s heads with possibilities and ambition!

But that’s not all we got out of the £42 I spent on tickets for both of us. I also enjoyed one of the sweetest and most wonderful afternoons of my life. The geekdaughter made me so proud and seeing her enjoy herself was deeply satisfying and moving. It’s not just the geekdaughter that got a lot out of going. The memories running through my head are less of the performers and more of her reaction to them. Those memories will return to me for just as long.


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