We were able to meet them just inside the park, and hooked up with the orchestra group just inside the gate. It turns out that both the band and the chorus had come along on the trip, so this was around a hundred kids all told. Beautiful Wife led her
Anyway, deciding to bring Secondborn along was just about the best decision I could possibly have made. That child...
Okay, look: he's seven. He's silly. He does handstands everywhere. And apparently he, um, "dabs". (I had to look it up. I knew it was a strike-a-pose gesture for him, but I'm old and I have no context.)
So that's him, dabbin' while we're waiting in line for the Mine Train. Anyway, this kid: over the course of the day, he worked his way up from the Mine Train -- a relatively slow, slightly clunky beginner roller coaster which is mainly exciting for a couple of moments when it goes whizzing underground into the dark -- and made it all the way to a ride on Pandemonium. I'm borrowing other people's YouTube videos, because there's no way I was taking my cell phone out on a ride, but that link really doesn't do the thing justice: Pandemonium is a roller coaster in which the chairs spin around on top as the car travels along the track. And with me on one end of the rotating seats, they spun around a lot.
And when we got to the end of the ride, Secondborn just said: "That was horrible. We must never do that again." But he was grinning madly while he said it.
Firstborn's friend loves this stuff. He was the one who kept nudging our boys towards bigger, faster, swooshier roller coasters. But Firstborn is practicing his quiet cool, and he kept up just fine. Firstborn's eleven years old though; I'm not surprised that he just went with it. Secondborn, on the other hand, is seven - he couldn't have ridden Pandemonium without a parent, and there was another ride (some sort of spinning bull rodeo thing, later) that he was just exactly tall enough to be able to ride. Like, the top of his head was exactly at the line where he could ride it. And while this isn't quite his first time on any sort of roller coaster, it's pretty close.
So all things considered: I'm extraordinarily pleased with the way our day went, and I'm ferociously proud of Secondborn for riding some reasonably insane things with me, Firstborn, and Firstborn's friend.