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Chandler circus family shares their story, and their hearts

Posted by on November 24, 2012 – 8:38 am

Earlier this month, my big kids (ages 7 and 10) and I drove to a home tucked in a Chandler neighborhood. Before we even got out of the car, the children of the house were standing outside my mini van, waiting to greet us.

Once my door was open, their smiles and excitement extended as they hugged each of us and said, “Good morning.”

If that’s not a way to start a day, I don’t know what is.

The family was the Taylor family and I was there to interview them about their plans to and launch Circus Americana at the Herberger next month.

They not only opened up about the hard work and efforts, they opened their hearts.

Just inside their home, props were still set up in a small living room from publicity photos taken earlier in the week. From the kitchen ceiling hung streamers from a family member’s birthday celebration. Up on the walls were faux mounted animal heads, part of the many circus props mom Barbara makes by hand. Below them were shelves of books and homeschool curriculum.

This was one busy family.

My kids ran off to join their youngest son, Liam, in the back yard to play on the trampoline while I talked to mom Barbara, dad Martin, sons Aubrey and Ian (pronounced I-an), daughter Elia and family friend Jasmine. We chatted about how they came to be a circus family (both mom and dad are trained teachers, but learned skills years ago that they’ve kept up). We shared stories about parenting and family life, and I learned a few things about raising teens.

I learned about how the family came together through births and adoptions. I discovered all their amazing talents (Elia is about to graduate from the Royal Academy of Dance and the boys are both academic and athletic).

Barbara cooked breakfast (a yummy Welsh dish) and offered it to all of us. Then we went to the back yard. There, my daughter and I both tried walking the tightrope. I know there’s a photo somewhere of me and my 7 year old in Elia’s beautiful costume hat (again, handmade by Barbara I believe) making our way across the small rope.

In a word, I left inspired.

My kids were sad to leave. They tried to capture a few more minutes of play on the tree in the front yard. Young Liam asked when we could come play again.

We’re looking forward to seeing Circus Americana next month and the show described by the family. But more so, I believe, my children are excited to see their new friends again.

And so am I.