"To all those who think today's teenagers are (as the media would have it) a
surly and entitled bunch: I just spent an enjoyable few hours with five incoming
8th graders at Oaks Park. They were well mannered, intelligent, enthusiastic, and engaging (even my own!). Parents (you know who you are): YOU DONE GOOD!"
Nick and Kieran had fun too:
Kieran's new-found thrill ride fondness gave him courage to go on rides he hadn't tried before, such as the Disko. The one thing he did not enjoy was when I asked Chris and two of his friends to watch him (he wanted to tag along) while I went on a ride with a couple of the other boys. Sure enough, they lost him and didn't even notice! Fortunately he was discovered in the arcade by a friend who came to pick up her son. Poor Kieran!
Getting ready to sing happy birthday and eat cupcakes with completely MELTED icing!! It was HOT! (Perhaps the last really hot day of the summer...in the lower 90s)
The boys posing, with the river in the background...
Chris has known all of the boys in the photo, with the exception of the white-shirted boy (Philip) on the far right, since he was a little tyke. He went to preschool with two of them (James and Sam), and has known Nico (in the stripes) since kindergarten (they played t-ball and then attended school together). One of the best things about the afternoon was spending time with these young men who have grown up so much in the past few years! They are all really nice boys!
Kieran and Philip went on this contraption, the "Explosion" (a ride that's been around for ages, repackaged!), twice!! He wasn't even scared! Even though I'm the sort who generally likes twirly rides, I have never ventured onto this one. And now my 7-year-old is addicted. Looks like I'll have to give it a try next time.
Nick was happy with the kiddie rides--and the scrambler, which he loved--and posing in these wooden cut-outs.
As for me, I'm not as young as I used to be! After riding on the Disko, I had to take a break--stomachache! According to my blog post from 2007, that happened to me then as well. And I ended up going on the Scrambler twice on Tuesday, which was too many times. I love me a tilt-a-whirl, but the Scrambler is truly too scrambly. Of course Mike won't go on any of those rides (although he did do the roller coaster), so I'm on tap to go with the kids.
I made it onto the Screamin' Eagle only one time--and that was not enough. I LOVE THAT RIDE. It looks FAR scarier than it feels. I love that feeling of being hurtled through the air. Yes, I'm crazy! I went with Screamin' Eagle addicts Nico and Philip, who rode it three times that day. I was one of two adults on the ride (out of about 24 people), and the other one had her eyes closed the whole time.
I echo Mike's compliments to the parents of these young men. Man, has time flown. When your own child grows up, it's much more of a gradual process. But I haven't seen much of these kids in the past few years, and they have catapulted into their teenage years.
The most important thing, of course, is that Chris had a blast!