June 25, 2009
My first roller coaster must have been at Paragon Park... I remember how that huge wooden structure loomed above everything else... and I remember riding it. Once. I don't remember if I loved it, how old I was, or who I even rode it with. I just remember it was larger than life... probably the tallest structure I had ever seen at that point in my young life. And it was probably what led me to my love of roller coasters today. And I do. Love them. I love the anticipation that ripples through me as the coaster reaches the top of that first giant hill... and that it causes a quick spontaneous prayer to be sent quickly up to heaven. I love that quick flash of fear that overcomes my mind as I am lifted from my seat and sent roaring down the track. And I love the bubbles of laughter that float up from my insides as the next turn or drop sends me off in flight once again. It is the closest I'll get to soaring through the air like one of our fine feathered friends. Because while it might seem risky to some, I have a trust in those restraints... more trust that I ever could in a parachute. I could ride over and over again... the tenth ride being as exciting as the first.
This weekend was a first for us... all four of us tightly strapped in across the row... tall enough and brave enough... flying together. Feet dangling, hands grasping, and throats sore from screaming. I loved that we were together... that we filled up the row... that we were sent off on our thrilling ride as a family. Peeking around to say a last I love you before barreling down the endless drop. Together. Wherever the road might take us...