As Memorial Day weekend approaches, I think back to one of my most memorable. It was when my daughters (Julie and Gabby) and I went to Hershey Park.
Now for me, driving to Hershey Park was a journey. It entailed the Belt Parkway and a bridge. But the drive was part of the adventure and we were prepared. We had snacks, maps and Julie made a CD of songs we could all sing.
We decided to leave Friday night so we could go to the park first thing Saturday
morning. We stopped for an early dinner to avoid traffic and by the Verrazano
Bridge we were already hoarse from belting out songs. Happiness abounded.
I’m not exactly sure where we were, but suddenly something happened with Julie’s contact lens and apparently she was going to need a corneal transplant if I
didn’t pull off the road so she could get her contact solution out of the
trunk. So I quickly pulled off the next exit and surgery was averted. However,
it was a lot easier to pull off the highway, then to get back on. I must
give credit to Julie’s navigational skills, she managed to get us back where we
belonged but this was not after a scene which resembled The Exorcist meets
At about 1:00AM my car finally rolled into the hotel parking lot. The three of us got out of the car drained, dazed and disheveled, but with a sense of pride that we actually made it.
We all got right into bed and drifted off to sleep immediately. However, I was awakened by what sounded like hogs with the flu. I quickly realized it was snoring, coming from both my daughters. They were like drunken truck drivers. I
swear it was making my bed vibrate. I gazed over at them trying to take solace
in their beautiful cherub faces fast asleep, but all I could think of was their
The next morning they woke up ready and raring to go. I was like a limp noodle, but that was ok because my only plan was to sit on a bench and drink coffee while they made a mad dash from roller coaster to roller coaster, each more death defying than the other.
The day had just begun. It was only the second roller coaster. I saw Julie and Gabby on the ride and we waved at each other. It was then I happened to run into my school’s PTA president. We engaged in quite a lengthy conversation and when it was over I looked for Gabby and Julie. They had to have been off the ride,
because I waved to them at least 10 minutes ago. I couldn’t find them anywhere.
I couldn’t call them because I was holding their cell phones. So there was
nothing else I could do but sit on the bench and wait. After about 20
minutes I started to get pissed. Those selfish bitches couldn’t wait for me?
They had to run off to the next roller coaster without me? But I knew I
couldn’t leave that spot because then they’d never find me. I waited another 20
minutes which felt like 2 hours. Now my anger was turning into fear. Where
could they possibly be? My imagination was starting to run away with me. I waited another 20 minutes and now I was hysterical. My children were missing! In a panic, I asked a vendor if it was possible to have someone paged and he said
no. So I found two security guards walking the grounds.
“MY CHILDREN ARE LOST!” I cried.
“Ok, Mam, stay calm. Where did you last see them?”
“ON THE RIDE!”
"What are their names, Mam?”
“JULIE AND GABBY. ONE IS WEARING A BLUE SHIRT AND THE OTHER WHITE…”
"And their ages, Mam?”
“TWENTY-TWO and FOURTEEN”, I sobbed!
Just as the guards gave me a look like I was nuts, I spied from the corner of my eye Gabby and Julie walking slowly toward me with a worried look on their face. Why in the world is Mommy talking to security? Did something happen?
Filled with relief, I ran over and gathered them in my arms. It turned out they had been waiting in line the whole time and had just gotten off the ride. I have no
idea who I waved to, but apparently it was not my own children. I’m not sure
who thought I was more crazy, the security guards or my own kids but for the
rest of the day, every time I passed any security guards they looked
at me kind of weird. I think word got out. “Crazy Lady walking!” as my
daughters put it.
To get back at me, the girls made me go on a ride with them. It was a kiddies’ roller coaster with a mouse’s head on the front of each car, but
don’t let that fool you. They didn’t call it “Wild Mouse” for nothing.
Sometimes a picture speaks a thousand words.