Spring is when the flowers bloom, the weather gets warmer and the amusement parks around the country fire up the rollercoasters. For me, it is a time for a lot of fun with my family and, now, a lot of wonderful memories.
Perhaps, two of the best memories I have are about 10 years apart. The first one, was with my now 15 year old son, Chase. I had taken him to Kings Dominion, a local amusement park just north of Richmond, Virginia.
Now, this theme park is also the first one I remember going to and the rollercoaster I first remember riding, the Scooby Doo Ghostercoaster. This rollercoaster, a mini version of a famous Coney Island rollercoaster, is about thirty feet tall and wooden. It was and still is a fantastic little wooden coaster and one that, I’m sure, is the first for many people over the nearly forty years it has been around.
For Chase’s first ride on this coaster, he was very nervous. With Chase, when he got nervous, he tended to talk. A LOT. He also held my hand with a grip that was surprising for such a little fart.
So, we are standing in line, waiting for our time. I look at him and tell him I wasn’t sure that we should ride.
“Well, I might loose my cookies.”
Chase stood there, quiet for a moment and then, very thoughtfully, he says…
“I’ll hold your cookies, so you won’t woose them.”
It was all I could do to not burst into laughter. I paused for a moment and then carefully explained that it was just a saying. Explaining what ‘loosing ones cookies’ really meant was terribly difficult, especially when you are fighting back laughter. I’m sure the parents behind use were loving it.
The second wonderful memory took place just last year. We took my stepson, Preston, to the same park. Now, he’s a child with certain sensory difficulties and is easily overstimulated. The first time we took him, a year earlier, was not too bad and for the rest of that year, he did fine. Well, last year (2012) he was tall enough to ride the Scooby Doo rollercoaster. So, I took the little squirt into the queue for the rollercoaster. He must have changed his mind a dozen times, but I convinced him he would have fun. He loved the Taxi Jam coaster so I tried to explain that this was similar, only a bit taller. Fifteen times taller, but he didn’t know that.
So, we get in the train and I strap him in. As we are going up the lift hill, I said ‘’Oh no! I’m scared, I have to get off”, He put his hand on my arm and proceeded to tell ME that it was going to be OK!
Sure enough, it was. When the ride was over, he had the biggest, happiest smile on his face.
“Let’s do that again!”
So, we did. He absolutely loved that ride. He was so excited, just like another little boy I know. It was fantastic. It was another moment I will always treasure.
I’m telling you, being a Dad is just fantastic.