For the last few years (and these last few weeks in particular), my son has been waiting in earnest to go to Scarowinds – the Halloween-themed fright night at our local amusement park. Until this year, he has neither been old enough to participate in the fright zones (maturity defined by the magic age of 13), nor big enough to ride all of the rides.
Though he has been frustrated by the wait; though he watched as his older and bigger friends attended this time last year, to his credit, he never allowed circumstances and restrictions to limit his thinking, dreaming and/or planning for the BIG DAY.
The planning came in many forms. As a parent, I am always amazed by how an otherwise often forgetful child can nevertheless manage to memorize every last detail of his latest focus – in this case, the Scarowinds theme park. Now 13 and with a firm offer in hand from his mother to take him and his best friend to this treasured destination, he spent the weeks leading up to the big day studying every last detail of this year’s theme park.
Lost in the wonderful world of imagination and make-believe, he practiced creating some of the same gory make-up effects as the ‘scare-actors’ with various supplies around the house. Already a talented computer programmer, he spent much of his free time designing and building 3D computer animated roller coasters, anticipating the thrill and adrenalin rush of the rides he would soon ride. Topping the list were the Intimidator, Night Hawk and Vortex, and as the days drew closer, he studied weather maps, park maps and time schedules. It was all he could talk about…all he could think about.
Waiting with earnest expectation, the BIG DAY finally came. Yesterday in fact. The planning, the dreaming, the imagining, were coming into focus. As the rain poured throughout the day, we held our breaths, wondering…praying that the thunderous rain clouds would not thwart our carefully laid out plans. In the final hour, prayers and wishes were answered as the skies cleared, the sun shone, and we headed off on our adventure…
It is now 10:00 a.m., Saturday morning. The boys still sleeping, I smile as I reflect back on last evening. There were thrill, chills, and screaming. There were endless smiles and laughter. A beloved son, a favorite friend, a good-natured mom, and a good time had by all.
I wonder to myself…after months of anticipation, did the evening live up to and/or exceed his expectations? Did his planning and preparation enable him to more fully appreciate and enjoy the moment? Was it worth the wait? Absolutely!