Sunday, September 21, 2008

Things I learned at an amusement park

We took the kids to Silverwood Theme Park, a short 25 minute drive from our house for probably the last time this season. We spent 7 hours there and aside from having a lot of fun as a family, I learned some important lessons about life. Hard to imagine life lessons while screaming your ass off on the aptly named "The Scrambler" but bear with me.

Lesson #1: Children and adults experience fear at completely different times during the same event. For example, while in line for a giant rollercoaster an adult is thinking: "I hope my life insurance policy is current because I might die. Will my spouse remarry soon after my death on this roller coaster? Is this ride worth the possibility of death? Did I put on clean underwear today? What if I die or poop my pants? What if I say the F-word on this ride in front of other people's children?" You know, the kinds of things likely to send anyone into a panic attack.

Children, in the same line for the same roller coaster think, "Cool! I am going to go on this big roller coaster."

Adults, once on the ride think, "Cool! This roller coaster is awesome, I am so glad I didn't chicken out." Children, next to the aforementioned adult, are thinking,"What was I thinking getting on this roller coaster? I might die, and then no more cartoons! I won't get to see the final episode of Hannah Montana! My brother will steal all my toys! Wait a minute, did I just pee a little?"

Lesson #2: People think you are weird for taking your four year old on the northwest's scariest roller coaster. Yes, another "mom of the year" moment for me, but I did take my four year old on a giant roller coaster, and I did get the stink eye from other people. But here's what I actually learned: it isn't fair to put our fears onto our children, especially when it is something we are willing to do ourselves.

For the past three years that we have been going to Silverwood Kaylee has watched me ride these big roller coasters. Yes, I am a BIG KID when it comes to theme parks. So I was a little hesitant to let Kaylee try, even though she was big enough to ride with me last summer and all of this summer. She asked me and I decided, what the heck? (must have been the medication talking)

So we got in line, took a ride, and all she said at the end was: "That terrified me! Let's do it again!" I was SO PROUD!

Lesson #3: No matter what, people you know really well can still surprise you. My Dad is 68 years old. I've known him for nearly 36 of those years. He has been coming with us to Silverwood at least once or twice a summer since we've lived here. He's never actually ridden any of the rides, and certainly not with the kids. I figured he just liked watching. Wrong-ola.

Now that the kids are older, he was ALL OVER going on rides with them. He took them on the log ride (looks like a big terd with a couple of seats carved out), the tilt-a-whirl (guaranteed to make most people hurl), the aforementioned scrambler, and even one of the big roller coasters. Is it weird for a child to be proud of a parent?

Lesson #4: Even if something is more difficult than you thought, a lot of the time you end up thinking you had a good time anyway. In our infinite wisdom we decided that maybe we should do those "Olde Tyme Muggs" photos, you know the ones where you dress up in western stuff and pay $50 for a 5X7 sepia tinted print?

Three of the four of us really enjoyed the experience. One of us, the youngest of the bunch, was a complete pain in the patootie the entire time. Wouldn't smile, wouldn't look at the camera, kept pulling his stuff off. It was a nightmare. The end result: a pretty darn funny picture of Mark, Kaylee and I smiling and Brady scowling at the camera.

As we were preparing to leave, Brady says, "that was fun!" Are ya kiddin' me??

Lesson #5: Better to enjoy quality fun time with the kids now because someday they won't give you the time of day. Mark took Brady for a nap mid-day, though I wasn't sure who needed one more! Kaylee and I had some quality mom/daughter time.

We went on as many rides as we could and I soaked up all that time with her, in between trying to keep the elephant ear from coming back up while on the tilt-a-whirl... We were sitting on the tilt-a-whirl waiting for the ride to start and Kaylee said, "I am glad I'm here with you." Just warmed my heart!

I got to thinking that I was really glad we had time to just hang out, no rules, no restrictions, just for fun because I know, as a former middle school teacher, that in about 10 years she won't even give me the time of day!

All in all, I learned a lot of stuff, probably more than what is written here, but I'll save it for another time.

Click here to see photos and descriptions of Timber Terror and Tremors, the Big Rides at the Park:

Then, you can start that nomination form for mother of the year for me....


la maestra said...

My husband is planning to vote 10 times for the boobs. He feels that all women need to look like circus freaks with elephanitis of the chest. DO NOT FALL FOR HIS EVIL PLOY!

Anonymous said...

Even one of my girlfriends voted for the boobs! Can ya believe it???


Amelia said...

It doesn't cost 50 bucks for a 5x7 sepia picture.

It would cost you $35 for a 4 person sitting fee, and you wouldn't just get ONE 5x7, you have the choice of one 8x10 or two 5x7's.
Now, if you only got one 5x7 for $50...Whoever rung you up ripped you off.

It would cost you 40 bucks if you were to get color.