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.