Seeing Stars

Our elementary school does a fundraiser where they sell deeply discounted amusement park tickets and somehow make money off of them. Being that we live in New Jersey, I’m pretty sure they fell off the back of the truck.

Monday we took the kids to Hershey Park.

Thank god for #3, who took it upon herself to get someone to watch the dogs because it completely slipped my mind. She’s hellbent on doing as many good turns for me as possible so that I let her get contacts this year (8th grade) instead of next. I’m not above being bribed and I kind of like the way this is working out so far. Anyway, back to our trip Monday.

We got started late.

I forgot my camera.

CC forgot his hat, so we dropped two kids off with money for donuts and went back to the house.

CC picked up his hat and I forgot my camera again.

We retrieved the kids and the donuts and went on our way.

The kids fought over donuts and then fell asleep, until the last hour or so when they told each other horrible amusement park death stories, which then degraded into tasteless jokes which I will not repeat here. It’s imperative that there be no public record of what was said in the van. I will say only that I was impressed.

When you enter Hershey Park, kids line up under the candy bar signs to see how tall they are so they know which rides they can get on.


#5 talked about little else over the past week besides his hope that he had grown enough to reach Twizzler status this year. Twizzlers can pretty much go on any ride. Sadly, even with his shoes on, his very best posture, and his hair all spiked up with sunscreen, he was an inch short. He’s still a Hershey bar.

We had a grand time even though it was about a million degrees out. The best part for me came about four in the afternoon. In the distance a big storm was brewing, and gradually the taller roller coasters got shut down. We migrated to an area with shorter rides that were still open. CC and I sat on a bench, the kids all took off in a pack together, and we totally fell asleep. Each time when they finished a ride, they checked in with us and asked if they could go on another ride. Each time we mumbled yes and fell back asleep. The storm winds rolled in and dropped the temperature a blissful twenty degrees. After five rides’ worth of nap, we consulted the guide and found a place to get coffee and hiked over there. We all reconvened, the rain came down, and it was pretty much the best thing I have ever felt. It was just like that song by The Who.

Plus, my nose wasn’t broken.

I suppose now is a good time to tell you about 2010’s Log Ride Incident. It is why I think of #5 every time I put on my sunglasses, which is every single day unless I don’t leave the house.

We started our visit last year by riding The Comet, a roller coaster designated safe for Hershey Bars.  The next roller coaster we found was for Twizzlers on up. #5 was too short to ride. So we split, and I took him to the log ride while CC took everyone else on the big scary coaster.

I love log rides. They’re so peaceful and then you get that little teeny scare at the end followed by a big splash, which is exactly what you need on a hot day at an amusement park.

Bolstered by his prior experience on The Comet, #5 was well aware that this wasn’t a thrill ride. He was feeling very brave. When we went down the giant hill at the end, he leaned forward, and went from sitting to squatting, poised as if to leap. I was immediately convinced he was going to jump to his death. I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him back down, sitting against me.

At which point we completed the hill and the log caught, as it is supposed to, on the chain-thingie that keeps it from careening out of control.

Which sent #5’s head back full force into my face.

Full force into the bridge of my nose, to be exact.

He giggled and screamed at the ride, completely unaware that anything was amiss, and I tried not to pass out.

In the past I have experienced small traumas that caused me to involuntarily swear, moan, or shut my eyes; this time I couldn’t speak or move, my eyes were wide open, and I saw little silvery stars, lots of them, kinda like glitter. No birds. It was the most pain I’ve ever been in without losing consciousness.

Much to the disappointment of my kids and my work colleagues, there was no blood, nor were there black eyes, and my nose was not repositioned on my face, but according to my ENT it was, in fact, broken, right across the bridge where my sunglasses sit.

#5 was pretty proud of himself when he learned his very own head was that strong. I still have the same sunglasses, they just sit a bit differently now on my reformed nose.

This year, I went on the big scary roller coaster and made CC take #5 on the log ride.

What’s your favorite thing to do at an amusement park?


21 thoughts on “Seeing Stars

  1. So, are you like, totally deformed now? Did you have to, like, totally pay some graphic artist to digitally alter your profile pic? Huh? Can we see the X-Rays? Pleeeze?

    My favorite was always the Spook houses. Especially the cheesy ones at the Jersey Shore in summertime. The mock-scarey-ness of the dusty, hunched crooked figures with bad wigs and jerky mechanical motions always made me laugh. The flying skeletons – histerical. These rides were so bad, they were an art form unto themselves, the way a really bad movie has a dignity to it. Ya know, Like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?

  2. Ahhhh that sounds so painful! And a new reason to scream at an amusement park! I’m not a big fan of Hershey’s candy (except for Reese’s peanut butter cups), but doesn’t it taste so much better there? Especially the Twizzlers.

  3. You definitly win on this one – no broken nose for me yet! I can just picture it though. We do reach out to save the kids from themselves, often time to our own detriment!

  4. I used to love roller coasters but now the thought of them makes me sick to my stomach. I think it has something to do with having 5 babies that destroyed any musculature I had in my abdominal area. Or maybe I’m too fat, which is also my kids’ fault. Yet another enjoyment my kids’ have taken away from me (along with going to the bathroom in peace and eating a hot meal.) 🙂

Comment. It gives me a reason not to clean my house.

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