The Circus Problem

“We were wondering if Ian wanted to go to the circus with us tomorrow.” It seems like such a kind and innocent question. We didn’t have any plans on Sunday. I like the kid, I like the parents, my son likes the kid and the parents and my daughter had a birthday party to attend. It seems like an easy yes except there is one thing.

I am morally against the circus.

I have seen the trucks. I have seen the cages and I have sworn that I will never again buy a ticket for or participate in or support the circus.

I don’t feel like I need to delve too deeply into the reasons themselves. I am sure you can glean that it is about the mistreatment of animals. What I do want to address is what the heck I am supposed to do in this situation. I have discussed the reasons we don’t go to circuses with my children. They know. They understand.

So when a really nice man makes a really nice gesture by inviting my son do something perceived as All-American fun, what do I say?

Yesterday I said yes.

I was conflicted, but I said yes.

I admit that part of it was that this was the same man that when we were discussing singing he asked me which church I sang for and I said “Oh, it is a community choir” while my son chimed in with a “We don’t believe in God!” He is a nice man even though his son is best friends with a heathen. It isn’t that I am embarrassed to be an Atheist, it is that I don’t want Christians to think that I am judging them, so my brain was telling me that if I told this guy that I didn’t believe in the circus OR God I was starting to sound like a very disagreeable person.

I think that even though they get it, my kids are still bummed that their friends get to go to the circus and they have to stay home.

I let my son go to the circus and I felt terrible about it.

He, of course, had a good time and felt guilty about it.

How am I damaging my children? Let me count the ways.

I don’t know if I did the right thing or not. I am thinking probably not, but it all worked out okay – unless you are an elephant or a white tiger. *weeps*

What do you do in these situations?

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Read more from me on Sarah and the Goon Squad and Draft Day Suit
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More of me on That’s Right. You Heard Me:
I Told My Kids I was Santa
Sure Breast is Best, but Take it Easy
80s Movie Lines I Use on My Kids


Article Posted 4 years Ago
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