Some things just don't change, and one of them is the Trumbull County Fair.
I don't remember the first year I went, but I do remember at age 8 trying to save my allowance for the fair. The Hawaiian Shaved Ice booth is always on the main strip, the best fries are Richardson's at the corner by the grandstands, and there's a little shop owned by a married couple that makes the best candy apples.
What I remember most about the fair, though, is going with my grandparents. They would walk a little in the morning, then set up in the grandstands and spend the day watching them prepare the track for the tractor pull or the demolition derby, or in later years the school bus races.
They were always there, offering a home base when we were old enough to go off on our own with friends to the midway and ride. They were there with coolers of drinks and snacks, they held the bags of free stuff we collected and stuffed animal prizes. And when we were little we weren't that interested in the event, but we cared that we were with them.
We brought our Harry Potter books to read while the rest of the crowd cheered for the tractor pull, and my sister and I fought over who got to sit by papa.
My papa died when I was 15, but I keep those memories close. And this past weekend, I went to the fair with my own family and my parents.
And my son sat in the grandstands with his coloring book, in the same spot we've sat in my whole life. And as I watched him color with his Mimi, I realized that I'm giving him experiences that I treasured from my own childhood. I watched his relationship with my mom, and was so reminded of my own relationship with my papa.
I was a lucky girl, and I am blessed beyond imagination to now have my own baby to watch my mom and dad grandparent.