We recently came back from Tampa, Florida where we visited Busch Gardens. Bob and I thought taking the kids on an animal safari would be a wonderful way to spend $300. I insisted first thing, that we ride the train through the theme park version of the African plains.
“It’s a train, Mom.” Chris pointed out. “Like they have at the zoo back home.”
“It’s a safari adventure,” I said as if renaming it would somehow make this all seem more adventurous to him.
He was right. It was a train. As we rode through the exhibit, the kids stared at the giraffes and zebras and asked how this was any different from the zoo back home.
“It cost $200 more and it’s much hotter here,” I explained. “Now look at those animals and enjoy it!”
Drew was the only one who actually gazed intently out the window. When we got off the train, I figured out why.
“Mom. I saw the coolest roller coaster on the other side of the giraffes. We have to ride it!”
There is no such thing as a “cool” roller coaster in my book - or Bob’s either for that matter. We’re the kind of people who like to keep our feet planted firmly on solid ground. We’re the kind of people who like to keep down that pizza we had before we saw the roller coaster.
We’re the kind of people who don’t wish to barrel headfirst down a metal path at a hundred miles an hour. We have no desire to tempt gravity and fate by strapping ourselves into a machine whose sole purpose is to flip us upside down repeatedly. . In a nutshell, we’re the kind of people who like to LIVE!
Drew is a ten-year-old boy. At his age, he still feels capable of thwarting gravity. Need I say more?
I looked at Drew’s hopeful little face and said the only thing a good mother could in such a situation.
“Drew, I carried you for nine months. I nursed you for a year. I’ve always been there for you when you needed me. But no way am I riding that coaster with you. Take your brother.”
“What?” Chris asked in horror. He might be ten just like Drew, but he understands the awesome force of gravity.
Being the good mother I am, I gave him a pep talk. “If you’d rather, we can ride the train again.”