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Suburban Island

Happy Birthday, Kid!
Wednesday, Jul. 02, 2003, 11:46 p.m.

QUESTION: Which way to the roller coasters?

WHAT I LEARNED: Don't wait until the night before to find the poncho.

Tomorrow is my youngest kid's birthday. He is turning 14. I am accompanying him and 3 other kids to a local theme park. There, the kids will immediately disengage from me and my credit card until refueling times - 12 noon and 4.

Other regular contact will be required by cell phone at scheduled intervals. Inbetween, I plan to wander around the park. That sounds kind of sad, doesn't it? It won't be too bad though. Actually, I'm kind of looking forward to it.

There are some advantages to being at a theme park on your own:

  • I don't have to go on any rides that I don't like,
  • I can sit in the shade and watch the crowd go by as long as I please,
  • I can hang around the gift stores without having to buy one thing for someone else,
  • I can see the shows that no one else will ever stop to watch,
  • I can say hello to every cartoon character that happens by without feeling silly,
  • I can tune in to the personal peace and quiet that can often be derived even amidst the roar of the coasters,
  • I can enjoy having people talk to me who aren't asking me for money to play the arcade, purchase food, or buy junk to commemorate their trip to the park,
  • I can use my time in the single-riders-only line to check out some of the goofy interactions between couples and remind myself that being with someone isn't always what it's cracked up to be,
  • I can take lots of pictures without everyone whining for me to hurry up,
  • I can get some exercise and quasi-fresh air,
  • I can revel in the fact that I got the day off from work and I'm laptop-free.

I think I'm going to like this upcoming excursion. Of course, there is a sleepover afterwards but 12 hours of walking around a theme park should build a nice level of exhaustion into that equation.

The wildcard is the weather. It's supposed to rain. If I can dig it out, I'm bringing a nice plastic poncho with me. I won't hesitate to wear it either. Everyone looks kind of goofy in a poncho but that's never stopped me. A little parental goofiness is expected of me after all. And I certainly don't want to disappoint the kids.

DETAILS: Coffee: a nice hot latte to drive away the raindrops + Listening to: birthday planning + Observing: building birthday excitement + Thinking: When did he get to old for a bowling party? + Weather: rain all day

Today’s Suburban Strategy: Do Not Call List - did you register yet?

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