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I dreamed about running away a lot as a child, but not even once about running away to a circus. No circus dreams for me – I wanted to run away and live in the Louvre. Never mind that I lived in a tiny town in the armpit of America: I read “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” when I was 10, in 1968, and I just knew that if Claudia and Jamie could swing it, then my little brother and I could too. All I had to do was figure out how to get us to Paris, which, alas, didn’t happen – I made it there for the first time in 1976, but not with my brother, and while I still wanted to live in the Louvre, I decided not to make a scene about it.

Now that I’ve been daily prompted to think about the circus, though, I realize that I live in a beautiful circus, one of my own making, and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world, not even for a chance to live in the Louvre (and that’s saying quite a bit!).