The Snake / by Susie Lubell

Uch I have been adding copyright watermarks to all of my digital files all day today and let me tell you, it is completely scintillating and meaningful work because I really love to do the same series of key strokes 82 times in a row. Nonetheless, it is time for a break. How are you?

I have been fighting a very odd stomach ailment the last few days that I can only refer to as THE GRIP. It was like someone was grabbing at my gut full fist and pulling it out (including my back) and twisting it all in one motion. Like I was made of silly putty. It was bad. And then my stomach muscles were also sore from doing too many sit-ups. So I've decided to never again do sit-ups because they are stupid and cause nausea.

Which is why yesterday, when I took my kids to Gilroy Gardens, a delightful amusement park for the two to seven-year-old set, I was not totally thrilled about having to go on many of the spin around until you throw up rides. Luckily the kids had no interest in the spinning garlic ride (it's Gilroy - Garlic capital of the world). Nor the banana buccaneer thing that swings back and forth like a pendulum. And we were with about seven other families from our preschool so there were plenty of parents to accompany in my place if necessary. In fact, my son was tall enough to go on many rides by himself or with just his friends but naturally he preferred to go with me. What can I say. True love.

But there was one ride, the only roller coaster at this place, called The Snake. And toward the end of the day as we were heading out another boy said he wanted to go on it. So all of the kids lined up to see who met the 42 inch height requirement and it turns out only this kid and my son were tall enough to go at all, but not tall enough to go alone. Each needed a parent. My friend Randi went with her son and convinced her three year old to go on the merry-go-round with the rest of us. But my son needed a chaperon and my gut was both literally and physically telling me to skip this one. Plus I had my daughter who had already missed her nap and was unusually clingy. The boys had already run ahead to be in line and Randi went to catch them. That's when I yelled for Michael, Jonathan's dad (Jonathan's the one who calls me Mrs. Rosen - so cute) so he filled in.

And as I was walking toward the merry-go-round to watch the other kids with Jonathan's mom, I panicked that my son would see Michael and start sobbing. Or that mid-ride he'd pitch a fit and I wasn't sure Michael was prepared for that kind of wrath. So I ran up to the line with my daughter and watched as they got on the ride. My son got on with Michael without even batting an eyelash. So before he could see me I got the hell out of there.

Five minutes later we see The Snake riders coming to the carousel to meet us and my son is flashing a toothy grin. Randi reported back that he LOVED the roller coaster. My son then corroborated this interesting fact and he decided to go with his buddies on the last few rides of the day and leave ole mommy behind. Guess who's grinning now...