There are some moments in life during which you have to rely on your mental camera.
We went to Six Flags Great America yesterday. It was PERFECT. After an interminably long and humid week, Friday broke open with a monstrous thunderstorm. Since Friday was going to be our 3rd attempt at visiting Six Flags (the other two being a freezing rain day in June and that crazy power outage on the 11th) and our last opportunity to go with Patrick before all of our vacations and work trips began to dominate the calendar, we sucked it up, hopped into our van, and hoped for the best.
And the Angels Sang and the Heavens opened up and, after an hour of driving in a mock-hurricane, the rain suddenly... ceased. And the sun slowly shone and the humidity didn't overwhelm.
And my family enjoyed the Best Day Ever at Six Flags.
Being that we love to ride lots of rides, I don't like to lug a camera around the park. We are empty-handed, big-pocketed people, walking with purpose to get onto as many rides as possible. Thanks to the crazy weather, the park was practically empty ALL DAY LONG. Any ride we wanted to get onto was less than 10 minutes, if not a walk-on situation!
With the right shoes, Corinne is justbarely tall enough to ride the 48" coasters. (At 5 years old, she's well on her way to becoming fashion-model tall.) I wasn't sure if she'd really want to go on everything she had been crossing her fingers over. I mean, The Eagle, The Viper, and other crazy rides are a little overwhelming for a little kid.
Apparently, I forget who we were dealing with. Not only did she ride every single ride that she was "tall enough" for (good shoes!), but she rode them all several times! And by herself! And laughing the entire time.
Do you know how incredible it is to ride on a roller coaster, with your entire family? When the lap bars locked in place on the Eagle for Corinne's first ride, I looked back at my sons, daughter and husband all eagerly waiting for an adrenaline rush. Patrick and I grinned like fools at each other and marked the occasion in our minds...
The courage was catching because Justin (our cautious and careful child) not only rode Batman for the first time, but rode it 4 times! He also surprised us with his willingness to watch his siblings while Pat and I enjoyed a few rides that they weren't tall enough for. To see his personality and generosity slowly but surely maturing caused me many moments of pause and gratitude.
Still, the absolute best, 100% most AWESOME moment of the day was when Patrick finally won at the basketball game. You know the type of game: the announcer guy grills you and jokes around while you have to make a certain amount of shots with overly-inflated basketballs at the free throw circle line. My husband, on the 3rd attempt, earned enough points to take home a prize. His choices: a Sox banner or a Cubs banner.
My husband, the ever-proud Sox Fan, pondered for a moment, looked at both, and glanced at Evan, his defiantly proud Cubs Fan son.
He casually tossed a Cubs banner to Evan.
Evan's eyes were saucers of disbelief.
He hugged Patrick around the waist and cradled that banner in his arms for the rest of the night, repeatedly thanking his Daddy for picking it out, just for him.
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