April 8, 2017 – Oh to be young again…

Today’s post will be fairly short and will violate the principle I put in yesterday’s post, that of not remaining anonymous.  While I won’t be posting under my name, the context of the story should be a good clue as to my identity.  The reason for the late post is that I spent the bulk of my day today with my son and grandson at Busch Gardens.  My grandson turned 2 a few months ago and has started being able to ride some of the small kiddie rides, so, we decided that Busch Gardens would be a good way to spend the afternoon while our spouses participated in a baby shower.  As with any great adventure, we swung through one of our favorite Scottish restaurants, McDonalds, picked up some Chicken Nuggets and headed to the gate.  Pulling into the parking lot, Soren quickly pointed out the roller coaster Apollo’s Chariot and got a huge grin on his face.

He has started talking and having conversations now, although most of it is hard to discern.  Still, he was pointing at the park and saying “I go” in a pretty animated fashion, so I was able to make out that he was a little excited.  Stuffing the remaining chicken nuggets in my pocket, we made our way into the park and headed to Oscar’s Wrigly Worms featuring Oscar the Grouch.  As we stood in line, I could see his mind churning watching the ride and trying to figure out what all was happening.  Periodically, he would turn to his dad and me, point and tell us about either Oscar’s hat, the smiling worms, the moving platform, and all the rest.  Our turn finally came, we climbed in and the ride began.  We sat in the back row, which was the furthest he had sat to date, and he wasn’t too certain at first if he really liked it or not, but with his dad and grandpa beside him, he held onto the bar and began to get a bigger and bigger smile on his face.  He had faced the uncertainty and had come to find that he truly enjoyed the ride.  Similar trials and victories were forthcoming as we hit the Elephant Fun ride, the Airplane ride and, of course, his favorite so far, the Turkish Delight teacup ride.  In between rides we’d have another chicken nugget, a little bit of water, and a decent walk/ride to the next one, until finally, with our lust for adventure sated, we headed to the car to head out to dinner.

I have always enjoyed amusement parks, but the type of enjoyment has changed over the years.  At first, the magic of this land of rides and thrills was the “best thing ever”.  Like Soren, my eyes would light up and I would want to see and do everything until I was too tired to do anything but sleep in the car.  As I got older, the magic of the parks faded, and the thrills were limited to how good the roller coasters were.  In my early twenties, I realized that the magic was gone and, if the park was empty enough to let me go on the coasters back to back to back, the thrills even diminished.  As we took the kids to the parks, I rediscovered a part of that magic again, but it was tempered by watching out to make sure everyone was together and that everyone was having fun.  Today, however, as we climbed onto the airplane ride, buckled in and waved to dad, I rediscovered the magic of the park.  I may not fit as well into those tiny cars, and I may need a bigger seatbelt than I used to, but with that tiny grip on my finger and that smile on his face, I went back in time and remembered the unbridled joy of the amusement park.  Maybe next time, I’ll get to ride in the stroller…

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2 Responses to April 8, 2017 – Oh to be young again…

  1. Bob Hale says:

    Loved it. Even grandpa-great would have tried it. What a wonderful experience.

  2. Bob Hale says:

    Loved it! Grandpa-great would have probably tried it, too. Wonderful experience.

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