Friday, April 17, 2009

Confessions of a total chicken

OK, we went to a local theme park yesterday to fully celebrate the wonder of SPRING BREAK! Oh to be a kid again, when vacations just didn't come often enough, but sure came more often than when you join the working world.

DH and I both took Thursday off from work, and brought the boys to the local theme park for a day of junk food and rides. We were on a mission to convert Barley into a roller-coaster lover by the end of the day, because it would make our lives easier. Our friends' kids like coasters, and when we have a family day or group day at the Park, all the other thrill-seekers head off in a quest for blood-pumping excitement. Barley and I, well, we just hang out in the kids' area. The little kids area. Where the 3-5 year olds are hanging out. Umm, Barley is 7.

We decided to start the day off with one of the milder coasters in the park. This link takes you to a page listing the rides there. They are rated 1 to 5, and Psycho Mouse was a 4, which surprised me, as I understood it to be a decent "starter" coaster for kids ready to get off the kiddie rides. We saw that some of the kids on line were younger than Barley, so we figured he would be able to handle it. Teddy had already ridden this last summer, and was eager to hit the more challenging coasters, but he agreed to stick with us so we could ride as a family.

Now, I am not a big coaster fan. I've ridden a few, but I don't like the extreme ones, and if I have a choice between riding a coaster and waiting at the bottom and knitting, I'll pick the knitting. More relaxing. But, in the spirit of selling Barley on the wonders of coasters, and knowing he does not like to try new things, we were all going to ride together. So, I was resigned to going on--besides, it couldn't be that bad with all these little kids riding, right?

Boy, have I turned chicken in my middle age. As we were heading up the first big hill, part of my brain was freaking out so bad that I had to focus on my breathing (ohmyGod what am I doing here, why did I agree to this, oh sh!t, HEEEELLLLLPPPP!). Luckily, Barley was sitting in front of me and could not see my panicky reaction. My hands were completely sweaty, and I had a death grip on the rail in front of me.

There was a flattish zig-zag part to the ride at the top, which did not look bad from the ground. Teddy warned us it was scarier up there than it looked--and he was SOOOO right! You ride along and can't see the track under you, so it appears you are driving off a VERY HIGH cliff...then CLUNK, the car suddenly jolts you in the other direction. A primitive survival instinct kicked in, and I was glad that my 7-year old and 10-year old were in the seat in front of me. If this car went off the rails and we plummeted to our death, the boys would go comforting.

I was actually a tiny bit relieved when we started to go straight down instead of the off-the cliff part of the ride...then we went up, which was definitely better than down, then DOWN again, when I really thought I might die of fright, then up again, then DOWN again, and merciful God, the ride was finally over. My chest hurt. And I was NOT going to ride again.

DH bought a picture of the boys on the ride, and unlike the first kiddie coaster, Teddy is not patting his little brother telling him it's going to be OK. Teddy is the only one in the picture completely grinning, but Barley is not grimacing this time. Our plan to ride all together worked--Barley was so excited and enjoyed it so much, he and Teddy raced each other to get back on line. Hanging back, I estimated the ages of some of the other kids also running to get back on line. I think I saw some 5-year olds. When they are that young, they have NO sense of mortality--that is such an advantage!

Me, I am resigned to the fact that I'm a big chicken. Where's my knitting?

1 comment:

  1. This must have been the story you were going to tell me. Very funny! Emily and I went on it too - She told me not to scream (remember Goofy's ride?) but I heard her scream on the drops. Teased her about it afterwards and she just giggled.


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