I spent 11 hours yesterday at the amusement park with my son Clark. He got some money for his birthday, plus saved up some of his allowance and decided he wanted to spend a day at Lagoon. Since he’s too young to go unsupervised, and we already established that it’s too expensive to take the whole family, he invited me to come and he paid my way.
Here are a few observations from a day of rides, walking, and people watching:
1. Unfortunately, I did not get the memo that all females over the age of 13 were supposed to wear tank tops and denim booty shorts.
2. I assumed that if I’ve always loved roller coasters ever since I was young, that would not change now that I’m getting older. I was wrong. I seriously think that a ride called The Spider gave me a mild concussion.
3. I’m not sure if there’s any kind of graduation or licensing program for tattoo artists, but there should be.
4. Young love is SO, SO awkward. Clark said, “There sure are a lot of people here on a date.” I’d venture that about 1.5% of them are destined for long-term happiness.
5. Why would a grown woman with substantial girth wear black stretch pants and a HelloKitty plush backpack? Why?
6. I couldn’t believe how many people were there with babies in strollers. It exhausted me just watching them chase and care for their young, little families. I know I tried to pull it off too, but now that I’m old and tired, I wonder why I forced myself to endure stuff like that. My little kids would have been just as content to play a few board games at home with me, and I might actually have some money left in my savings account now.
7. Most people had way too little clothes on, but once in a while someone wandered past in jeans and a sweatshirt. It was about 93 degrees. I almost got heat stroke just watching them walk by.
8. No matter how vigilant I am about sunscreen, I never remember to consider where my hair parts on my scalp. I suspect I will have fake dandruff for a week or two.
9. Clark is a pretty fun kid.
10. Because I let him take the lead on what he wanted to do, and because he’s not a controlling order freak (like I’m learning that I am in some ways), we probably traversed the whole park a dozen times. I can’t even guess the miles we walked. I took an Aleve last night when I went to bed and only woke up with leg cramps once.
Despite my cynical comments and my utter exhaustion by the end of the day, it was great to spend a full day with my sweet 9-year-old son. It was also great to be completely unplugged from the rest of the world (I even forgot my phone) and just live in the moment. But I may not need to visit an amusement park again for a couple years.