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HomeBlogFranklySteinAll strung out after roller coaster overdose — FranklyStein

All strung out after roller coaster overdose — FranklyStein

I have a confession to make. Roller coasters stress me out.

Last week, another dad and I took 10 kids — 9 teenagers and my 10-year-old — to Kings Dominion for the day and had an overdose of roller coasters. I am pretty sure I used to liked roller coasters, but things have changed since my last visit to Kings Dominion in 1986. Back then, the coasters didn’t tower over the Eiffel Tower.

KingsDominion1The last amusement park I took the kids to was Dutch Wonderland maybe six years ago. Back then I couldn’t drag my kids onto the pretty tame Kingdom Coaster, and we had to twist their arms to go on the flume ride. But since then, my older three have become fearless. Several trips to amusement parks with school and friends in the past couple of years transformed them. The girls went on just about every ride in the park, and even Adam, who’s deathly afraid of heights, went on the highest roller coaster — the one so high you can black out if you forget to breath.

So that left me and Jonah. He had big plans before we arrived at the park but became timid as soon as we got there. Meanwhile, I jumped on a roller coaster without thinking — an older stand-up coaster — and while ratcheting up the first hill, I wondered what the heck I was doing. My hands were sweaty, my heart was pounding and I was worried my legs were going to buckle. Amazingly, I survived.

At lunch, Jonah and I made a pact to ride “Dominator” — not the worst coaster in the park but close to it. It was my idea. Since he didn’t have a friend on the trip, I felt responsible for putting on a bit of peer pressure. So we got in line, and I tried not to focus on whooshing above us. Jonah meanwhile, had been watching overhead and started to cry. I encouraged him, telling him I thought he would like it. Even though he continued to cry, he kept moving forward in line. People were looking at me like I was the worst mom ever, but I promise I didn’t force him. He kept moving. I kept moving too, even though I had no desire to go on the roller coaster, and I felt a bit like crying myself.

We were both hyperventilating a little as we ratcheted up the hill, but before I knew it, we were whooshing along, and I heard Jonah say, “I just made the best face for the camera!” At least someone was enjoying it.

Jonah went on that ride two more times before we left the park that night. I went on a couple of other roller coasters, but after awhile, I hit my limit. My nerves were shot. I guess I’m passed the thrill-ride stage in my life. These days I’m seeking mellow and calm, even a little boredom would be nice.

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FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 16, Lilly, 14, Adam, 14, and Jonah, 10.


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