Well, my husband and I rarely think this way, but we both wanted to treat the youngers with something special that evening too. So after dropping off the older at the party spot, we 4 proceeded down the freeway to the next local entertainment park. (We live in SoCal...they're everywhere!) We didn't tell the kids what we were planning to do. I had grabbed boiled eggs, flavored water pouches, crackers, grapes, etc....that was dinner on the road. They didn't complain. They were more focused on "Where are we going?"
When we drove by the park and exited the freeway, they knew exactly where we were headed. And they were excited!! We parked the car, made our way inside the gate and began to walk around deciding on which rides we were going to spend our precious tickets. There was the "Whirling Spinner" and the "Nordic Ship." We passed something that resembled a teacup ride. Then, there it was!...the gigantic, rickety, very dangerous-looking rollercoaster ride!! That was it! They wanted to go on that one first. We stood there, underneath the loud, thunderous track and watched several turns being taken by other riders. It was so loud. The ground would shake with each pass of the coaster. Screams came from the riders and their faces showed a mixture of fright and glee.
I opted to stay where I was and cheer them on like a good mom (and one with a chronic neck injury!) There they went...my darling 7 year old, sweet 9 year old and dear husband of nearly 15 years. "Bye...have fun!" I yelled.
It was no more than five minutes later than I saw all 3 enter the coaster carts. I had them in plain view...no head pads or braces to block it. They were all smiling...waving to me as they rounded the first corner slowly. Clickety-clackety, they ascended the steepest part of the track. I no longer could see their expressions. They were going up...up...up out of my view. As they crested the highest point, I saw them. Instantly, the smiles on my precious little children vanished. Sheer terror replaced all signs of happiness. I watched as they swooshed past me with thunderous noise of the track. At that moment, I held my breath until I saw their little faces again. Swoosh! Again, I felt clamy as I noticed C's face, more fear-filled than the first descent. My 9 year old had a slight smile backon his face. Okay, he was having fun. But I felt sick to my stomach as I thought of C.
My thoughts within an instant: I spend so much of my days tending to my kids--scraped knees, tearful hearts and that thing called diabetes. I would do anything for them...any mom would. I pray for them. I teach them. I warn them of life's dangers. I protect them with all my might. And there they go...on a rickety old rollercoaster!
I waited patiently. Aaah...there they came, down the ramp...smiles from ear to ear! Big breath.
"Let's go try the Whirling Spinner!" they all said.