When you have kids, going to theme parks is one of those necessary evils, like having the theme song to Spongebob Squarepants stuck in your head for weeks on end or finding petrified Oreos under the cushions of your sofa.
When my kids were younger, I didn’t mind the theme park outings quite as much because the kids were happy to go on the rides that went about two miles per hour and made cute little choo-choo noises. But they soon graduated to faster, scarier rides with names like “The Titan of Terror.” The minute they met the allowable height level, they were on line for gravity-defying, puke-inducing, loop-de-loop rollercoasters.
This is when I became “The Holder.”
In case you are not familiar with this person, “The Holder” is the one who is too afraid to go on the gravity-defying, puke-inducing loop de loop roller coasters, so he or she waits by the ride exit and holds all the stuff that will fall out of the pockets of the idiots who are actually going on the ride.
Some people think that The Holder is a weenie. But I like to think the holder is actually the smartest person in the group who values life and her lunch too much to go on these rides. My thought is, I already had two kids without anesthesia… I don’t need any more thrill rides, thank you very much.
Of course, the problem with being The Holder, is it leaves you with a lot of down time. Most of the rides my kids want to go on have hour-long waits. Even when we spring for the fast pass, it can still be upwards of half an hour for a three-minute ride.
So what’s a girl to do while she waits for her brood to do their loop-de-loops?
As I waited for my kids to get off yet another roller coaster, I started to get hungry. This might have had something to do with the fact that I was doing nothing for forty minutes and also that the enticing smells of fried dough, pizza, french fries, and soft serve ice cream were wafting at me from all sides. What? You say ice cream doesn’t smell? I beg to differ.
Thinking that the pizza would be the least of all evils, I decided to get a slice to satisfy my hunger. It may, in fact, have been the least of all evils, if it were the only thing I ate. But ten minutes later I got a text from the kids saying they were getting back on line to ride the rollercoaster again, so I went and got some fried dough for dessert. Over the course of the afternoon, I also shared some cheese fries with my daughter, tried out the cotton candy, tested the kids’ fudge to make sure it was OK, sampled someone’s chocolate shake, and sucked down a slushee.
As the day was winding down, I announced that I thought it was time to head home.
“But mom, we still haven’t gone on the biggest rollercoaster,” protested my kids.
“I think we should go before someone gets sick,” I declared.
“But I feel fine,” said my son.
“Me, too,” agreed my daughter.
I shook my head.
“That’s good. But I was talking about me.”