I don't want to go on the roller coasters any more
We went away on holidays this week, to a place where they have roller coasters.
Lots of them. Specifically, ones like this:
See that? It has more gravity force than a trip on a space shuttle. My hair-raiser devil-may-care no-fear-since-he-was-two child thought he was in heaven. He went on everything, multiple times, and came out grinning.
I will say straight up that I did not go on this one. Not once. I was not even really tempted. But I went on others. For bad reasons. At the beginning, I felt the need to be a 'cool' parent. Also, a need to 'prove' something. I'm not sure what. In fact, I'm still asking myself what I possibly need to prove at the age of 43, to four children who know exactly what I'm like anyway, because they live with me.
So anyway, on day 1 I went on one roller coaster. It was bad, but it wasn't terrible.
On day 2, with careless bravado, I went on another.
I am seriously not kidding. Look at the top left of the picture. It goes down AND THEN UPSIDE DOWN at the same time. Also, the little carriages are wider than the rails so you feel like you're riding on nothing. RIDING ON NOTHING. VERY, VERY, VERY FAST.
It was horrifying.
First I made a fuss because they told me where to sit which was AT THE FRONT and I was definitely NOT going to do that. I said I AM 43 I AM NOT SITTING IN THE FRONT OF THIS THING. So they made faces at me while they rearranged people but then I found myself sitting on the edge of the carriage, so that if I fell off, which was feeling more and more likely, frankly, I'd go right out into the blue sky before I smashed all my limbs and torso into the ground.
My son laughed at me.
And then the ride started.
Weirdly, the only thought I had through my mind the whole time that it twisted and turned and fell over itself in its continual attempts to freak me out was this: TRUST THE PROCESS.
Trust the process. I put my faith in engineers, in designers, in the reputation of the theme park, in the fact that Australia has safety standards, and in the justice system that would give me reparations if I was damaged by this horrible, horrible experience.
Trust the process.
My mind is so nuts. WHILE I WAS IN THE AIR, flipping and twisting, I started thinking about life, and how even in the crazy situations, the most important thing to do is to trust what you know is true, and what you know to do, even when you have absolutely no control, and even when...
And then my thoughts broke off and I went here: OHMIGOSH I AM GOING TO DIEEEEEEE.
Beside me, my 10 year old son was grinning his head off and holding up his arms ("LOOK MUM NO HANDS") and having a wonderful time.
I was NOT having a wonderful time.
Trust the process. Yeah, right. Just get me off already.
On Day 3 I managed to get out of going back to the roller coasters. Also day 4. But on day 5, my number was up. The 10 year old was desperate for more rides and I was the designated parent.
"I won't go on the green one or the red one," I said.
"The one that goes straight up and down?" he said hopefully? "That's not too bad."
I looked at it and considered. It was unidirectional. Just up and then down. Up again, and down again. I could probably cope.
Ha ha ha ha ha.
In less than half a second I travelled faster than I've ever travelled in my entire existence. At least, it felt like it. I was down and then I was uuuuuuuuuuuup and ohmigosh doooooooowwwwwwwn again and up and down and down and up and DYING THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
The kid laughed once again as I stumbled off. "I'm 43," I snarled at him, as if that should tell him everything but he insisted: "No, it's FANTASTIC MUM."
I refused to go on the red one because, obvs. And then I refused to go on a purple one, where your feet were left dangling in the air (!!!!!) while you zoomed upside down and around and about. I also refused to go on the green one again, because, you know... potential for death.
And then he tricked me. "This one's fine, Mum," he said, ignoring the fact that I had a headache and was now feeling kind of icky. "Even the six year old went on it."
He neglected to remind me that the six year old came off it in tears and had to be cajoled back to happiness with sugar. It was a convenient omission, and out of mother-guilt, I said okay, I would go.
I should not have gone.
It was in the dark, and spooky and went backwards and round and round and round and by the time I got off I felt about 63, not 43, because some things ARE JUST TOO MUCH TO BEAR, ORRIGHT?
So forget 'trust the process'. Forget the mother guilt and the 'cool mum' rubbish and the 'I have something to prove' tripe. I have nothing to prove now. I do not want to trust engineers and ride designers for safety when their whole intention is to freak the living daylights out of me.
I DO NOT WANT TO GO ON THE ROLLER COASTERS ANY MORE.
It's been fun (well, it was once...) and now I'm done. No more rides. That's all folks.