Monday, June 05, 2006

A Moment of Gratitude

One more time. That was Jake's mantra, as we visited Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure this weekend. Jake had scored big this report card, and we were all celebrating by staying at a Universal Hotel which buys you front of the line passes. Which means that you have absolutely no reason to say no to twenty-five Dueling Dragon rides in a row.

Jake is at a great age for the park now. He has zero interest in shopping and asking for those inane, fifteen-dollar-moving-
dinosaur-head-pinchers-on-a-stick; nor does he wish to engage in any fun-halting activity such as going to the bathroom or eating. Nice for us, because nothing comes back worse on you after Hulk to the thirteenth than a hot-dog, unless it is an eight-dollar hotdog.

There was, of course, the occasional pre-teen tone at my ludicrous suggestions (like getting off the the large dinosaur structure laden with Do Not Climb signs, or to please walk with us so that we didn't have to meet back at the Lost Child area), and the requisite whining at leaving at the park's closing (a mere eleven hours after our arrival), but one non-self-indulgent moment deserves mention. We were preparing for a last round of brain damage on the roller coaster, and he wanted to ride this small, mild (but fun) prep coaster next to it. The line is always less than five minutes (even without front-of-the-line passes), but we were standing there, motionless, with no sign of coaster activity.

Jake was irritated. You get used to star treatment really quickly, and your patience wears thin at having to make idle conversation with your unhip, out-of-touch mother for more than two minutes. "What's the holdup?" he demanded.

I craned my neck to see a young girl, a quadrapalegic, being lifted by several people into one of the seats. I pointed this out to Jake, hoping he wouldn't comment on the emotional lump in my throat--partly inspired by this young girl's determination, and partly by her lack of mortification, a prevailing emotion that directed my life from about seven years old until forty. "What's she doing?" he asked, still slightly perturbed we were not boarding.

After I explained, he uttered a barely audible "Oh." Smiling, he watched her family gathered around her, loading her in and shining with excitement over how fun the next thirty seconds were going to be for her. Then, just under his breath, he whispered, "Take all the time you need."


Walter said...

I'm going to like Jake a lot when I meet him. In fact, I already do.

tracy said...

Hold onto those moments when he shines and do not forget them. Why is it we focus on what they are doing "wrong" all the time rather than the good stuff?