Back in the day, I used to be able to ride just about anything. Roller-coasters, tilt-a-whirls...you name it, I loved it. I used to laugh at my mom as she would only be able to ride the Merry-Go-Round. Today, she's my hero as I can't even stomach that! In all honesty, I can't even swing on a swing-set for more than a couple of minutes. Something happens when some of us have kids...maybe it's a natural inclination to protect life. I don't know. Whatever it is, it keeps my feet firmly planted on the ground watching my children ride the rides.
Which, brings me to another interesting phenomenon.
Back when I was a kid riding all the rides at the amusement parks, I would feel bad for my mom who would just be sitting on the bench or standing by the gate watching us. I'd ask her if she was bored and she would say, "Oh no!! I'm having so much fun watching you all!" I used to think it was one of those "nice lies" moms would say to their kids to prevent guilt. Similar to the line, "Oh, I don't need anything for Mother's Day. Having you all is enough. Just be nice to each other." Whatever. However, last year as I was watching Katrina have the time of her life & this year, as I watched the laughing faces of my children as they sped past me, I realized my mother was telling the truth. I discovered that it is truly MORE fun to watch my children have a blast than it is to actually ride the rides myself!
Interestingly, when my kids and a bunch of their friends went on a ride and their friends all left me holding their bags - THAT was the moment I turned into my mother. I was now the one laden with bags, cameras, etc. The pack-mule, if you will. I had to laugh.
The kids rode rides. Some became nauseous. Zane won a fish. I ate fried dough for supper and cotton candy for dessert. My husband and I sat among our children and watched as fireworks lit up the sky in front of us while carnival lights blazed behind us. We laughed and cheered together as we watched the greased-pole climbing competition.
These are the things childhood is made of. These are the memories a mother treasures.