This summer presented a lot of “firsts” for us, including Sam’s first visit to Canada’s Wonderland. I had kind of been postponing this amusement park destination, but it was on my radar, and then Sam was invited to a friend’s birthday party there. Perfect! We were a fairly small group of six kids and five parents, and it was so much fun.
Many (most?) of the things I’m doing as a parent now are new to me because I didn’t experience them as a child. It’s discovering childhood, not re-discovering childhood, and is fresh and exciting.
But I did go to Canada’s Wonderland as a girl, and I remember it. I remember the thrill of it, and promising to go every year with a treasured friend (the promise, alas, was broken.) I remember the blue Smurf ice cream and the donutty funnel cakes sprinkled with icing sugar. I remember the layout and the central mountain. I remember the rides. The rides! Lifting right out of my seat on the viking ship that swung slowly from side to side. And of course the roller coasters. So much fun.
So it was a thrill for me to go with Sam, and to really feel excited about sharing an experience from first-hand child knowledge. We had a great time. Sam is still a bit young for the really big roller coasters, and we over-extended ourselves going on The Fly. It’s ranked 4 out of 5 on the thrill factor, but it was scary! I felt like we were going to be thrown out of our little uncovered cars, and I’m pretty positive Sam thought that too. After that, we stayed on the ground. Sam was contented to walk around and eat a Slushie and play some games. (He badly wanted to win a stuffed Smurf. Later, Ben took the boys to the CNE, Nat won a Gutsy Smurf, and Sam traded all of his stuffed toys, including Puppy, for him. Including Puppy! A few days later, there was some distress before bed, and Natty threw/kindly returned (both are true) Puppy to Sam.)
After the rides, we shared cake and birthday wishes for the birthday boy in the pavilion just outside the gates. Watching one of his dads scoot off to the car in the gigantic parking lot to return with a cooler to enable portable birthday fun, I realized the thought and effort they put into the day. The things that parents do for their kids, no doubt since time immemorial, really shouldn’t surprise me anymore. But it sometimes does.