Sunday, September 21, 2008

where the boats say YARRR!

When Craig told me his company's annual picnic would be at Six Flags, my first thought was, "Oh, fabulous. There's nothing more fun for a pendulously pregnant lady than to take a frachetty toddler to the redneck capital of the world and watch a bunch of punks enjoy roller coasters that she can't ride while she lumbers around in the heat until her bajingo falls off."

And guess what? I was totally right!

There is seriously *nothing* more fun. I had more fun as an unrideable parent than I ever have as a ride-loving kid/teen/adult. Watching Cleo gawk at people, laugh at roller coasters, and bounce up and down for joy every time she saw a choo-choo train was absolutely wonderful. Seeing her fly through the air with her arms up like the big kids nearly choked me up.

Daddy and Cleo rode the Kiddie Convoy, the flying boats, the carousel, the flying balloons, and the Thomas train. Pretty much anything that went slowly in a big circle and didn't make Daddy barf. Mommy
was allowed to ride the creepy, boring boat part of the carousel that is held up by nekkid baby angels, and it was a rip-roaring good time. And we all sagged along on the big train that carries tired people back to the front entrance.

I've been going to Six Flags since I was tiny, and my trips have been colored by my father's agoraphobia, my youthful fears, and my young a
dult eye-rolling at everyone not nearly as cool as me. I've spent hours in hot, smoky lines waiting to ride roller coasters that made my back and jiggly bits ache for days. I've gotten splashed and walked around all day in skin-tight jean shorts that nearly caused thigh fire. I've ridden the Ninja 5 times in a row until I couldn't uncross my eyes and thought i'd seen God. And i've never had nearly as much fun as I did today.

I never wanted to be a "Mommy Mom", living only to be a parent and self-identifying only through my children. But I must admit that seeing the world through my child's eyes makes me a better, more thoughtful, more positive person. Today, I didn't see the high prices and stupid cartoon characters and gang members-- I just saw this:

Now I see the point of it all. Now I understand why adults participate in magic shows and shell out $500 for Breakfast with Mickey and generally make fools of themselves-- because seeing your child smile ecstatically and hearing them talk about their day for two weeks makes two minutes of any sort of insanity endurable.

We called my grandmother this afternoon to tell her about our day. She asked Cleo on the phone what she did, and Cleo's approximate answer was, "I go ride a choo-choo, and a carousel, and a baboon, and a tram, and on a boat said YARRR!" If today becomes part of her permanent memory, it was worth any price.

Actually, it was free, so that's even better. That crazy old dancing man was right-- Six Flags rules.

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