Hanging on the Rails

I spent most of Monday at King's Island. If you don't know what it is, think Six Flags over Ohio. I recall the trips in my childhood to Six Flags. We would leave before dawn, drive to Georgia, and be there at 10 a.m. when the gates opened. Even now, the smell of the tarmac after a light rain on a hot day transports me there. Ah, the Scream Machine. I once rode it three times in a row. Apparently, the line wasn't long for the ride that day and between times two and three, my stomach had no time to recover. The log flume. Is there any sound like that of two molded plastic logs bumping into each other in the queue to begin the journey around water trail bends until the wide belt transports the log up the crest of the hill to be plunged into the dangerous and splash-happy waters below. Or what about the hours spent waiting in line for that next thrilling ride? Hanging on the rails, swinging on and under the metal which divided me from the next line of people as we moved inches at a time.

How my parents did it, I don't know. It seemed that we stayed until closing. Could they really have kept up with us three kids at the park and still drive the three hours back to Alabama? I remember sleeping on the way home, and being roused out of my slumber to climb into bed.

Here was a different experience for me. Staying in the kiddie part of the park and exchanging glances with my husband when one of our offspring proclaimed their excitement or cackled gleefully at the wonders of the amusement park. Our looks to each other said, "Didn't we do great? Look at our awesome children! Don't we love them so?" I wondered did my parents exchange this same kind of look? Did they, too, marvel at their beautiful children, their affection for each other, the rightness of life?

At one moment we sat next to the fountains at the foot of the Eiffel Tower replica eating ice cream. My daughter declared, "This is the life!"

Indeed. Does it get much better? Could it possibly?