Did I also go with my parents at some point? Oh sure. My dad and I waited in long, winding line after long, winding line for each and every roller coaster, and my mother was pissed with a capital P. Because what fun is it to drive over an hour up 294 only to sit on a series of benches while everyone experiences thrills of a lifetime? No fun, that's the answer. Live and learn.
But now the ride is not over an hour up 294. It's 20 minutes down neighborhood streets, and I'm cruising in the back entrance of Six Flags like I practically own the place. My husband and three kids now have season passes for the remainder of this year and all of next year. Strolling through those front gates, though, is like walking through a time machine. What year is it? How have I aged so much? And who are these adorable children with me? What do you mean I birthed them??? Isn't this my eighth grade trip? Don't I still have my whole life ahead of me???
What a different experience to go to Six Flags with my young children. Now I am the adult escorting my child on their very first roller coaster. Andy loved The Whizzer and even enjoyed our thirty minute wait last Monday while Chris (less of a wet rag than other parental units) waited nearby with Alex and Emily and a funnel cake. No complaints there, his plate was positively floating in powdered sugar! We hit all the kiddie rides, Chris and I taking turns riding with the boys versus waiting with the baby. The sun shone brightly, promisingly, with all of the fun next summer will hold- provided we do not lose our souvenir 2016 free refill cups and/or have our on-loan stroller system stolen by shady looking patrons. Andy and Alex think that the Six Flags is the greatest place on Earth, and I just may have to agree with them. It's even better now; everything's better through the eyes of a kid versus a jaded teenager or a twenty year old faking sick on a cell phone with a goddamn antenna.
And yet, at Six Flags, there are glimpses of the past everywhere. That same carousel, that spot where Shockwave used to be. The place where the buses parked, a man-sized dolphin that looks like an old friend I once had. How odd to revisit now. How odd but wonderful.