I went to my first Renaissance fair this past weekend. Actually, it's one of those things I can't believe I've never experienced until now. Over the years years I have hung around people I could easily imagine participating in fairs like this. You know, like (D&D) role players, actors, storytellers, and history buffs. I've been to a mountain man rendevous or two in my time, and in my mind, it's a similar kind of event, just a different time period.
So, did I like it? Uhm...kind of. I enjoyed the culture--the music, the performers, the costumes. It's just that, it's really most enjoyable for participants, and not just gawkers like me. Plus, it was a really expensive afternoon with the entry tickets,lunch, and a small snack costing nearly $100 for two adults and two children--and we shared some food items, too!
I wasn't sure what the kids would think. I tried to explain the concept to them that people would be dressed up differently and talking strangely because they were pretending that lived during a different time. My stepdaughter was disappointed that she didn't see more princesses, but when we talked over the reality of which there would be more of--princesses or common people--she knew right away why she didn't see more royalty. I was impressed that we saw as many as we did, which wasn't really that many.
My stepson didn't seem too thrilled at all when we were at the fair, but he opted to spend his allowance on a small wooden sword and spent much time ouside on Sunday in his own little world. Then later, he wanted to try his hand at juggling like the man we'd seen at the fair. How sweet!
But that's when I wondered about my efforts to bring culture to my family.
So, he wanted to juggle with some sharpened pencils, afterall, the juggler used knives and such. (He did warn the children not to do it at home!) I steered him in the direction of some something that wouldn't poke an eye out. His dad came in and I told him that our darling son wanted to learn to juggle like the juggler we'd seen.
My husband told me he couldn't believe how rude the juggler had been with the children there. I asked him what he meant because I thought maybe he was talking about how the juggler had been teasing the children sitting in the front by saying he was going to drop things on them or sell them or such. But no, what my husband meant was the things the juggler was saying.
"But, honey, he was the Bawdy Juggler. Didn't you see the sign? 'Bawdy' means he's going to say some risque things! Didn't you hear me when we were leaving and I said that in a couple of years the kids will understand the jokes the guy was making?"
It's true. At their ages, the kids were just entertained by the performance and didn't get the juggler's inuendos.
So, just about the time my husband and I finished our conversation about the Bawdy Juggler being all that he said he was, my stepson walked back into the room, and having heard that the juggler's names was "Bawdy Juggler" started chanting, "I am the Bawdy Juggler! I am the Bawdy Juggler!"
Most people are not going to understand why the heck he's talking about, but if any of his teachers happened to go the fair, they will catch on pretty quickly that our stepson is now emulating a dirty-minded juggler.
Of course, he thinks he's saying "Body Juggler." And for some reason, it just sounds sooo good to him. I can't convince him that he is a "Sock Juggler" or a "Toy Juggler" or anything that wouldn't make people raise their eyebrows. What is it with kids who have a 6th sense about things they know might irritate adults? I mean, he heard me say, "Bawdy Juggler" ONCE!