The Circle Game

And the seasons they go ’round and ’round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go ’round and ’round and ’round
In the circle game.            — Joni Mitchell

Last weekend Duncan and I took Owen to the Ormstown Fair. I hadn’t been to the fair in ages – I almost want to say decades, but not quite. Probably a decade, anyway. The weird thing about it was that apart from feeling really small, the Ormstown Fair felt oddly familiar. It wasn’t familiar from my youth (which was what I expected) but familiar in that I recognized the names of the people running the cotton candy and hot dog stands. It turns out that the Ormstown Fair is serviced by Campbell Amusements, which also operates rides and concessions at the Big Ex in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Guess where we were last summer?

Now, this photo does not tell an entirely true story, since Owen looks perfectly thrilled to be on the horse and, to tell the truth, it was work to keep him happy. Anyway, this year we rode again (it’s the only ride that doesn’t require the adult to pay, and at $4.50 per person per 4 minute ride, I wasn’t too ambitious to do more).  He loved it. He kept saying “up, down!” and was able (mostly) to hold on by himself, though I kept my arm around him just in case, because that would have been a nasty fall (which of course flashed through my head incessantly even though I was holding onto him).

Unfortunately, we forgot the camera and my new phone doesn’t seem to allow photos to be uploaded, so this is all I’ve got:

Look how much longer his legs are!

Almost a year has passed since that first photo. Owen can now walk, make demands, run, use the potty (occasionally), make jokes, smile upon request, say “please,” “thank you,”  “bless you,” (confused with achoo!) and “I love you,” sing bits and pieces of songs, and understand all manner of words. He knows his colours (except weird ones like beige), his numbers up to 10 (except 7), and the letters O, D, M, N, G, and Y.

It’s strange to look through this blog, which I began about a year ago, and to realize how very much does change in a year. Time has always felt circular to me, rather than linear, and I’ve always liked “The Circle Game” because it’s kind of wistful about the passage of time but acknowledges that circularity. We can’t return. We are captive, moving ever forward, but of course moving forward brings us back again. We spin through the seasons, we revisit the same places over and over again in slightly different bodies, and we even (sometimes) revisit places with people whose bodies we’ve had a hand in creating.

Owen turns two today. Happy birthday, my beautiful boy. May your dreams keep their grandeur and your eyes be filled with wonder for as long as they possibly can.

* The Baby Book Club will resume next week! Huzzah! Right?