We took the kids to Kennywood on Sunday, our local amusement park. As I watched James and Elle on the rides in Kiddyland with huge smiles enjoying their childhood, I started to have memories of my parents taking me to the same park and the fun and excitement that I had back in the day. I can’t believe that I am the father of three just like my parents; it was a surreal moment for me. The laughter of the children, the sweet smell of cotton candy, and the breeze from the rides made what ever anxiety I had that day disappear. Little Peanut was grinning from ear to ear listening to the children, and seeing the bright colors on all the rides. We had Peanut in her stroller and when we hopped from ride to ride Elle would hold her hand, it was beautiful to see the strong relationship my daughters have. We stopped to watch a magic show, Elle was very animated, giggling and laughing while my son was speechless and motionless, in complete aw of what he was seeing before him.
We saw some friends there and my wife let me go on some big boy rides with Danny and Stephen. There’s a ride at Kennywood called “The Raging Rapids” that I swear every time not to go on. So as I am standing in line for “THE RAGING RAPIDS” with my friends Stephen, Danny and his two boys, I begin to remember the last time I was on this ride and why I didn’t like it. This is a water ride where you get into to this huge circular raft, buckle in and get sent down these “RAPIDS” dah. Every time I go on this thing I’m the one that gets caught under the waterfall. The last time I was on this ride it was with Danny, who also remembered my luck. I knew he remembered because he and his sons sat on the other side of the raft. OK, we start barreling down this thing, I’m as dry as a bone, maybe getting a few drops on me from the splashes of white water, and the waterfall starts to appear. I realize that the motion of the raft may be working in my favor, for once it won’t be me who gets the brunt of the fall. We get closer and I’m clear of the falls and I start to celebrate, than all of a sudden the darn raft hits the side of the rocks and sends us into a complete 180. As I get off the ride soaked from head to toe from the waterfall, Danny and Stephen just look at me shaking their heads not saying a word. I think they were at a loss for words. I was thankful that it was a warm sunny day and it would only take a couple of hours for my clothes to dry. I don’t mind my shirt being wet, but when it’s your shorts and everything south of your waste line, that’s when it gets uncomfortable.
I hooked back up with the family and we finished off the day eating hot dogs, hamburgers, cotton candy, and a few more rides. Elle, James and Amanda had a wonderful time. What a great way to top off the summer.