A great benefit of volunteering as a big sister to a 10-year-old is that I get to do things 10-year-olds like to do. On Saturday, I took Emmaly to the North Carolina State Fair, and we rode a roller coaster!
Now I have not ridden a ride at the state fair in maybe 20 years. If I take $20 to the fair, then I am eating $20 of food–turkey legs, ham biscuits, roasted corn, generally food that is unavailable outside of the fair.
A 10-year-old is not going to the state fair for the food though. It is all about the rides.
Now I had to negotiate a bit with Emmaly re: budgeting. It seems to me, her mother and grandmothers spend a lot of money on the kids, and Emmaly has no concept or awareness around saving money. And maybe as a 10-year-old, she shouldn’t. But I am not made of money, and I want my relationship with Emmaly to transcend what I can buy her. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: “Let’s pick two rides you really want to ride.”
E: “Well, there is also the all-day-ride wristband. That might be cheaper to ride all day.”
Me: “Hm. Let’s see how much that is, then we can decide if I buy that or we ride two rides.”
E: “Well, you aren’t planning to ride any rides, are you?”
Me: (Shocked face) “Um, why wouldn’t I ride any rides? Do you think I am only going to pay for you to ride rides? That doesn’t sound like fun. Would you like it if we came here and only I rode rides?”
I think that went pretty well.
In the end, because Emmaly is still a squirt, we rode a smaller roller coaster and went through a not-so-inspiring funhouse. Throw in a bunny exhibit and a goldfish toss, and we had a fun day.
Before we got kicked out of the massage chairs, because Emmaly “isn’t 21.” Well where are the signs that say as much?!