Nothing will confirm the fleeting youth of a 37 year old like a day at Six Flags.
Meghan’s dance performance #13 of 13 happened last Saturday at Six Flags Over Texas Holiday at the Park.
(Can I just pause a moment and say that thirteen dance performances between Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas is A LOT, even if every last one is done in the name of ministry? It’s just a lot. We’re thinking that next year, if she decides to continue with this dance company, something’s gotta give. Possibly a month of piano lessons. But I’m not going to think about that now. We’ll get back to that in about 11 months.)
Anyway. Six Flags. We made it a family affair and showed up a few hours before the performance to ride some rides and have some holiday fun with our boys, which included the $6 mug of hot chocolate that came with free refills. Free refill cups at an amusement park are always worth it. Just so ya know.
First stop: The Conquistador.
For those of you who have never experienced the joy of The Conquistador, let me explain.
The Conquistador is the ride you go on when the other lines are too long. Little kids go on this ride. While it’s not technically a “kiddie ride,” it is definitely a ride for those not brave enough for the loop-de-loop roller coasters. The Conquistador is a big Spanish ship that swings back and forth like a pendulum until each swing is 180 degrees vertical. Pretty benign.
If you’re 12. Or 18. Or 25.
But not if you’re 37.
In my younger days, I was a total daredevil when it came to roller coasters. The scarier, the loopier, the plungier, the better. Today, riding a swing on the playground makes me woozy. So The Conquistador just about did me in. I laughed and screamed and closed my eyes, but I COULD NOT WAIT for the blasted ride to be OVER.
It’s so pathetic.
Remember those days when you were little? “Swing me higher!” And you’d swear you could touch the clouds if you could just get your toes in the air a little. bit. more. But not today. Today I will keep my feet on the ground, thankyouverymuch, and watch from the sidelines while my kids find the scariest, loopiest, plungiest ride they can find.
And then there are the other subtle hints of aging that make me want to bust out singing “The Boxer.” Like the irritating knots in my shoulders and back that remind me I haven’t been to the gym in 2 weeks, and my ever-declining energy level that tells me I need to get back to the gym and quit complaining about not having any energy, but my sore elbows that remind me that lifting weights is now painful, so I’ll just sit on my duff for another day with a heat pack on my neck and hide dollar bills in random places in the house because you can’t trust the banks and make my weekly appointment at the beauty parlor and call my nephew to come get me when there’s a hurricane a-comin’, even if it is way out in the Pacific Ocean…just like my crazy old Aunt Mickey.
(God rest her soul.)
One foot in the grave, I tell ya.
Which, given my physical appearance, is oddly ironic.
Since I was a teenager, I’ve always looked younger than I actually am. When I was a teenager and young adult, that was annoying. I wanted to be a grown-up! I wanted to be taken seriously. When I was 16, I looked 12 (imagine that driver’s license picture!). When I was 20, I looked 15. When I got married, I looked like I was playing dress-up.
It was so embarrassing.
Now that I’m 37, I get comments ALL THE TIME like, “You don’t look old enough to have an 11 year old!” I promise, I was not a teenager “in trouble” when my first child was born. You do the math. I was 25. Really.
Though we were looking at pictures recently of Meghan as a baby, and yes, I did look like a teenager.
The big round glasses and high waisted jeans didn’t help.
(Oh, late ‘90s, you did me no favors.)
I’m not complaining. Sort of. My mom is in her 60s now, and she looks phenomenal. I hope I can look that good in 25 years. So I have good genes – and I have significantly contributed to the growth and profit of Mary Kay. So that helps, too. And being carded at a restaurant or at a grocery store is a little flattering. Even if the cashier thinks my husband is a sugar daddy cradle robber.
I guess I worry too much about what other people think about me.
Lie, la-lie (pshhh!), lie, la-lie, lie-lie, lie-lie…
But I’m still not riding The Conquistador. Ever.