It had been many years since my wife and I took the kids to the state fair. Although they were still young enough to enjoy it, life had crept up on us. Time after all is always creeping closer. This year, we would go and have a great time.
The wife took the eldest and went on some of the larger rides, while I took our youngest, Stephanie, to the carousel.
“The brown horse, Daddy! I want to ride the brown one!” she said ecstatically.
“Okay sweetie, when the ride stops and the man says you can go, make a dash for it!” I instructed.
As I watched this tiny human bounce up and down, smiling from ear to ear, laughing hysterically at nothing – I sat in awe.
I wondered if now, at my age, if I could ever find something in life that would make me feel as my daughter did riding this mechanical horse. I wondered about the men or women who crafted it. The precision, the colors, the sanding involved to make each horse and poll rose-pedal smooth.
For most of us, things in life don’t always pan out. Unfortunately, that’s life. People often say you can sleep and be miserable, or never sleep and be happy. What if you don’t want to sleep, but can’t find your passion. What if you have ever opportunity in the world to find that gift, but it always eludes you. One can’t help feeling guilty. One can’t help feeling like they are squandering opportunities, perhaps being viewed as lazy.
My mind continued to race as I watched Stephanie laugh and spin. I hope something out there is for me, something out there is waiting. But how do I find it?
My wife returned with our eldest, Patricia, both of them laughing away. A mother and daughter bond now stronger from the day together.
I put on a happy face, and we walked back to the car. My head sunk low as I watched my feet move forward, one after the other.
I should be the happiest man in the world, yet I felt trapped and alone.
Where is my carousel?