On Wednesday, we took a day trip with friends to an amusement park. Let’s just say, I’m not a fan of most amusement park rides, and I’m not a fan of the crowds and noise and general commotion. But…in the interest of stretching myself, and in the greater interest of doing something super fun for my kids, that’s just what we did.
They had a blast. I had fun too, just watching them have fun. I did only two rides myself (a, perhaps laughable, small kid roller coaster (not the monster you see above) and bumper cars. I almost got coaxed into a medium level coaster, but the ticking clock and frenzied decisions of what to ride in the last minutes left my daughter forgetting to check if I still might ride that coaster with her. Oh darn.
The kids have been on a handful of small coasters and various rides at boardwalks and the county fair, but this was their first foray at an amusement park (save the time we took my son when he was a toddler). They weren’t sure they’d like the coasters; I wasn’t sure they’d like the coasters. Um…they liked them, my daughter especially.
There was a special camaraderie that arose with the group who rode Skyrush (above). They got off that ride with big smiles. And then they got back in line again. And, when they came off the second time, they got back in line for a third ride.
To me, it looked crazy. I told my daughter that you’d have to pay me (a lot of) money to ride that coaster. I have zero interest in a 212 foot drop and a 75 mph ride. But they were thrilled, and they relived the experience on the car ride home, and again with their dad that night. Future trips to any amusement park will certainly find the three of them on the coasters and me on the ground, holding the bag with waters and phones and sunglasses. They seek thrills; I seek steady ground and shade.
As we left the park the other day, we passed the carousel and my daughter begged to squeeze in a ride. Unfortunately, our meeting time to head home had arrived and I had to say no, but I was happy for her interest after the thrill of the coasters. If there’s a next time (and there likely will be), I hope the carousel will be requested again. Her request held a little sweetness in it. After the excitement of speed and hills and loops and corkscrews, I was touched that, at 12, she still wanted to sit atop a carousel horse and go around gently, quietly.
Yes, fingers crossed for next time. Gosh, they’re growing so fast.
Sending a little love your way, m