When do Kids get to be Kids?

Feeling stressed out from work, bills, sick family members and storms destroying our property, we were looking for an escape the other day. Just when we thought that we would never feel carefree again, we found a place where kids can be kids. We visited an amusement park. From the time that the gates opened to long lines of excited kids; ages toddler to senior citizens until the bewitching hour screams and laughter filled the air.

We started by spinning until we were dizzy in the Twist and Shout. With each rotation, we began to forget about all of our worries. It only took two rides before we were transported into a special place where there are no worries—just fun.

Next, we joined the crowd of kids waiting at the log flume. Some of the kids were anxious, because this was their first time riding the flume. Others were big kids that have not been on the flume for many years. Together, they all descended the waterfall in the log and everyone screamed. It lifted our hearts to watch everyone ages of 4 to 70 laughing and thoroughly enjoying being a kid.

After a quick lunch, we were off to the water park. With the air filled with island music, we sashayed into the lounge area. We stashed our stuff on a few comfy lounge chairs and went to climb a Robinson Crusoe tree house structure with water falls cascading from the roof of each of the tree houses onto our heads. Suddenly water shot at us from the water guns above inducing screams and making us run out of range. Reaching the top, we joined the other kids sliding down the water slide to the pool below. The rushing water drowned out all other noises as we raced down the tube to crash to earth. Even though we know what’s coming, for some reason, that giant splash at the bottom always catches us by surprise.

Sufficiently soaked, we grabbed our packs and shoes and we were off to find rides to dry our clothing. “I’ve been waiting all day for a rollercoaster,” my husband insisted. The line seemed to take forever. Then, all too soon, we pulled the restraints over our heads, and heard the not very reassuring “click.” And, we were off! The entire ride, a voice screaming in my head, “When will the ride ever eh-nnnnn-d?” Did I say that out loud? We whipped around corners and spun around the loops like my son’s Hot Wheels cars on the track. How I longed for a nice relaxing ride—on the Ferris Wheel!

Our next ride greeted us with a wall of water as we stood in line waiting. It was the Boston Tea Party. A simple ride, really. A large boat goes up a ramp, makes a U-turn and then crashes into the water below. Water goes everywhere! Every time the boat shot down the ramp into Boston Harbor, the crowd of kids in line for the ride would scream. It seems, in this version of the Tea Party, we were the tea being thrown into the harbor.

When we finally reached our turn, the boys were so excited that we had trouble getting them to sit still. As we ascended the ride, they shrieked with glee. At the top, the entire boat gasped as they braced for the plummet down into the pool of water. A 20 foot wave submerged the entire boat, sending the wig on the woman in front of us overboard. I guess they weren’t kidding when they said “anything on your person may end up in the water.” As we were leaving the park that day, we saw her with a pizza pie hat covering her head. A little hair loss was a pizza hat gain.

Finally, too tired to go on another ride, we dragged ourselves to the exit. Climbing into the SUV, we started our journey back. Falling into bed, we slept soundly like little children. By morning, we had fully returned to the busy and stressful lives we had left behind. At least, until we take that magic journey again.

Happy Father’s Day Daddy!

While this site celebrates the mothers and Mother’s Day every day, I would be remise if I did not recognize the fathers on this weekend. Moreover, I want to especially recognize my husband, the father of my son.

Like most fathers, my husband enjoyed all the sex necessary to make a baby. What made him extra special was his support during the infertility treatment. In fact for a trauma present, he bought me my first Prada handbag (which I had wanted for many years). Hearing our son’s heartbeat for the first time during the ultrasound made it all worthwhile.

Trying to keep a straight face, he sat in the birthing classes with me. We couldn’t resist laughing when the breastfeeding coach referred to breast milk as fast food. “Do you want fries with that shake?” I mumbled, which almost got us kicked out of the class.

To be prepared, we practiced breathing for months before the delivery. We even practiced what he should say. “My friend said her husband said that’s gotta hurt when the baby came out. Don’t ever say that!”

And, when that day came, all of our preparation went out the window. “Give me drugs,” I screamed when the hard labor started.” I finished with “Screw the breathing. You try breathing with these contractions.” It was a long and draining day. At 10 hours and counting, the nurses urged him to take a break. He leaned over to say “I’m really tired. Is it okay if I take a break?” To his credit, he stopped leaving when I shot him a look and said “You need a break!” When he stayed, I never felt so loved.

Returning home with our boy, we took shifts to make sure that we each got sleep. Rushing home from work each day, he would feed my son and hold him in the evening while I slept. Waking up one evening, I came into the TV room to find him smiling with my son asleep on his chest.

When it came to teaching our son nothing was beneath his dad. One day I walked into the living room to find my husband on the floor with our son, “see how you get up on your hands and knees to crawl. Come on you can do it,” he encouraged my son to crawl. In my secret stash of pictures, I have a picture of my son’s tiny butt next to his dad’s as they were crawling together. I would show you but I have been strictly forbidden to publish it.

Don’t get me started on the challenges that he has embraced with our son’s allergies. Although much of what our son eats is foreign to Dad, he drives miles out of his way to buy vegan cheese, ice cream and bake goods. Since his favorite activity as a child was to go for ice cream, he has started eating Vegan ice cream with his son as a one of their bonding experiences. “That’s the kind of love I have you,” he said.

Another bonding time for them has been roller coasters. Because he couldn’t wait to start riding roller coasters with our son, he started when our son was 18 months on the little caterpillar at Edaville Railroad. Graduating to the Polar Coaster at Storyland and Rudy’s Rapid Transit Coaster at Santa’s Village, they have been working their way through roller coasters. Last year they rode the Aerosmith coaster at Disney, which led to all of our concerns with the dreaded 80’s gene.

When our son was old enough, they started taking Taekwondo together and practicing at home. At the first testing when my son looked like a deer in the headlights, my husband sat next to him with his arm around him. Now that they are in weapons class, I have to be careful when I am walking through the house. “Sorry mom,” I have heard on more than one occasion.

When I was tucking my son into bed one night, he asked me “why did you wait so long to have me? I was waiting in heaven for soooo long.” My answer to him was “I waited until I found the perfect daddy for you.” I continued, “I only want the best for you. I love you,” I finished and kissed him on the head. Smiling he nestled into his blankets and said, “Thanks mom.”