You will probably never see Paloma smiling on a carousel. At least, I haven't yet. It's not because she doesn't like them. No, Paloma *loves* carousels. She loves them so much, with such deep intensity, that when one is near, all her focus is on it. When she's strapped onto her animal friend, her anticipation is so ridiculously focused, she could probably power a laser. The girl isn't interested in wasting energy smiling for me or anyone-- not when there's a carousel needing her undivided attention.
And let's not talk about when the ride is over, because it's heartbreaking. For me! I have never, ever seen her sign "more" more frantically than yesterday, when her beloved panda gave out on its bounding circles. Derek was standing next to her, and I was at the sidelines taking pictures. The look on her face was disappointment the likes of which you may have seen, oh, in the Olympics. Maybe on a passionate- but losing- soccer team. A team who thought they had won-- but then had their medals stripped. For a technicality. Then multiply that by eleventy billion. That was the look on her face.
Open mouth crying, tears pouring down...this girl is a dedicated carousel connoisseur. Since March, she's ridden carousels:
- in a random mall on the drive to Santa Barbara. (Her first time ever. She was terrified at first, then cried when it was over.)
- Park in Santa Barbara near the beach (it was historic)
- Tilden Park, Berkeley (another historic one)
- Kennedy Park, Hayward
- Oakland Zoo