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Saturday, April 25, 2009

No closed spaces!

Once Dad got home early this afternoon from his business trip, we wanted to venture somewhere as a family before coming back home to eat some dinner. Since we had a few points on our ride card, we took the family to a local indoor fun place where we rode bumper cars, the Ferris wheel, the carousel, and the moonwalk. Our kids enjoy the swings and choo-choo the best but those two rides never seem to be in working order when we visit.

At this amusement park of sorts, there's a ride that's always tempted me but I've never wanted to spend the points to make it happen (it's 18 points per human!): the two seater Max Flight Simulator. I hate, let me repeat, HATE small closed spaces. So, as intrigued as I am to pretend I'm riding a roller coaster or flying on a jet, the reality is that I could never ride the simulator. That is, until tonight. My oldest son was approved to ride it with me so I asked all the proper questions before boarding:

"Is there an emergency button we can push in case he gets scared and wants out?"
"Is he tall enough to endure the tossing and turning?"
"Have you ever approved five year olds to ride this thing before?"
My concern was for my son, but deep, deep, deep down...I was scared! Let me clear something up: I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE roller coasters. Mitch and I have joked about taking a year off one day to do nothing but drive around the U.S., riding as many roller coasters as possible - but this was the only part of the ride that was gonna be fun for me. As we waited in line, I could feel my heartbeat increase in rate, my neck get clammy, and my mouth get dry. This whole wait, my son is standing next to me with a look of HUGE excitement on his face. He can't belive he's actually about to ride a "grown-up" ride.

It's our turn.

We step up to the simulator and pay our points.

We sit down and buckle up.

I ask my son, "Are you alright? If you feel you want to get off at anytime, you just tell me and the operator will stop the ride, ok?"

He smiles and says, "I'm ok, Mom."

The operator steps back and smiles, waving goodbye as she closes us into the tiny (TINY!) space.

The video begins and at the three second mark, I hit the emergency button.

She's not coming fast enough and this thing might take off. What if she didn't get the emergency message?

I hit the button again.

What?!?!! Where is she?

I begin to knock on the inside panel of the ride to make sure I have her attention.

The hatch opens and I see sunlight.

The operator makes eye contact with me.

I give a general answer and say, "It's not gonna happen, but we tried!".

The operator thinks my son freaked out and decided he was too scared to ride. Nope. It was me. I actually felt tears forming in my eyes and a lump in my throat. When we got out of earshot of the ride, I bent down to my son, grabbed his hands and looked into his eyes.

Son: "Mom, why didn't we ride?"

Me: "Because Mommy got scared, baby. I didn't like being in the small space so I had to get out. I'm so sorry you didn't get to ride. Maybe you can come back with Daddy soon and ride it with him instead."
My son seemed happy with that answer.

Mitch was just happy we got our 36 points back on our card.


~Mad said...

Way to handle it, Jawan! Bless your heart!

Melissa said...

I'm totally with you -- I remember panicing while inside the Statue of Liberty with a bunch of 2nd graders... I wish they'd had an emergency button!!

lifemoreabundant said...

I'm with you. It's why I wouldn't do tanning beds as a teen. I don't even like elevators.

I once kicked my youth pastor in the groin (accidentally) because he held my sleeping bag closed for ten seconds at a lock in.

Kim said...

OH - I would love to do this ride!