Sometimes in life there are moments that will take you back to your childhood. As a kid, I remember my dad taking me to an amusement park. It was him, my friend, my sister, and I. We went to Cedar Point for the day. There was a terrible storm and it scared most of the people away. But we stayed and waited for the storm to pass. When it finally left, there was hardly anyone left in the park. My dad was just like a kid with us. We went from one ride to the next, with no wait. I remember this day so vividly because it was such a happy moment for my soul. I have always carried this memory around with me, but what I didn’t realize was that I have been reliving that moment with my own kids.
When my son was younger we took him to six flags in Gerogia and we rode all of the rides with him. I also took him to Disney when he was about 7 years old. That was my first trip to Disney ever, and it was magical in so many ways. When he got older we took him and his girlfriend to Kings Island with us. The happiness associated with amusement parks has stayed with me over the years. So often, the bad feelings from our childhood are the only ones that get any validation. They are the ones that stick with us and cause us pain. We don’t know how to get over them or how to heal them.
My daughter is 11 years old and we just took her and her friend to Kings Island for the day. We went on a Monday, and low and behold when we woke up it was raining. As I was laying in bed that morning I heard the storm outside my window. I thought, “Seriously, come on, it hasn’t rained in weeks and now, today of all days it’s going to pour!” For a brief moment I thought about not going, and then I remembered the day I went with my dad. I also knew that we had already bought the tickets so we were going no matter what.
Plus, my daughter had her cute little friend spent the night and I didn’t want to let them down. You should know that I personally cannot stand wet clothes. I hate the feeling of them Sticking to me. A wet swimsuit is A-Okay, but wet shorts and a wet tank top make me want to scream! So I made my hubby stop at Walmart so we could buy some cheap ponchos. If we were doing this, then I was going to remain somewhat dry. We got to the park and it was still raining. They were calling for an 80% chance of rain for the whole day.
We got our ponchos on and we braved a few rides in the rain. After about 45 minutes of being there, the most amazing thing happened. It stopped raining! The sun came out and the ponchos came off. We stayed there from the time they opened to the time they closed. There were no lines anywhere. The forecast scared many many people away, which was great news for us.
We had so much fun with these kiddos. We were kids ourselves again for the day. I realized later that it was a day much like the one I remember with my own dad. It was a day with no waiting, no lines, no stress, and no worries. It was a day to let our inner child come out to play. There is a euphoric feeling for me that’s associated with amusement parks. It makes my heart happy in so many ways that I’m not sure I’m doing the best job of describing it. Hopefully this picture shows you how I feel!
I am so happy to be able to share these feelings with my own kids. I am so thankful for the memories that I get to create with them. My memories with my dad are forever etched in my heart. I wonder if my kids feel the same way! Even if they don’t, that’s ok, because for me, it’s a memory I will hold onto forever. We were able to forget about life for the day. We disconnected from the world and we went and had ourselves some good old fashioned fun.
I am humbled by moments like these. Moments where the tables have turned and I am now the parent, and the grandparent. I didn’t know all of those years ago that I would relive a very similar day with my daughter. I didn’t know I would share these moments with my son. I didn’t know that I would carry around a love for amusement parks and that I would share with my own kids one day. I didn’t know that a feeling could stay with you for so many years and that it can be passed on from generation to generation. My childhood might not have been the perfect one, but it’s ok because I am happy, I am healthy, and I am whole! I am who I am because of my past and I am lucky for it.
Tavia Hayduk 937-210-2306