Ringling Bros. Circus has been a Feld family affair for three generations

As a trapeze artist flipped overhead, a mother in the audience gasped, squeezing her 3-month-old infant tight. It was a moment of nail-biting suspense — the trapezist had missed his partner’s grip on the previous two attempts and fallen into the safety net below.

“I can’t watch,” the mother said, burying her head behind her baby boy, peeking up in time to see the performer swing into his partner’s open hands, setting off a roar of applause.