My son and I at the beginning of the roller coaster photo

The Roller Coaster Seemed Like A Good Idea

At the county fair last year, my son rocked the rides. He went on The Scrambler and the kids’ Free Fall and pretty much every ride he could. I was thrilled because I love park rides and roller coasters and now I knew…

I had birthed a Ride-Buddy.

Those 14.5 hours of labor are finally paying off.

Also, my son is tall. 99% percentile tall from the womb to now. This wasn’t a plus when my two-year-old, who looks like a four-year-old, is losing his mind in Target, but it’s fantastic at the amusement park. And this year, he was tall enough for 2 NEW ROLLER COASTERS.

Off we tromped through kiddie land with a few stops to fly a plane and drive a car, but with a consistent focus on the place of dreams and screams: THE RICOCHET.

While standing in line for our new huge roller coaster, my son was as excited as I was. He lit up as we pulled the safety bars over our heads. We clicked clicked clicked up the first big hill and his smile never faltered.

My son and I at the beginning of the roller coaster photo
Such potential.


15 seconds into my son and I on the roller coaster photo
Such reality.

E {in his most horrified voice because he isn’t sure the I’m not trying to kill him}: Mama, I don’t like this ride.

Me {as we are thrown from side-to-side as if the cart is going to fall off the track}: Oops, we can’t exactly get off, sweetie. Um, okay, you could release your death grip on the your harness and hold my hand?

E {completely convinced I’m trying to kill him since I just told him to LET GO}: Mama?

Me {brightly}: Screaming helps.

For the next 150 seconds, including the unbuckling of our safety bars, the two of us yelled in harmony:


My son, because he thinks I’m trying to kill him, and me, because I’m trying to drown him out.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

16 thoughts to “The Roller Coaster Seemed Like A Good Idea”

  1. I really hope Eddie turns out to be my coaster buddy…since that is how I became best friends with his dad. Over a coaster bond. Me being the super daring one, Cort being the one screaming like a girl. I hope Eddie is more like me.

  2. Were you at Kings Dominion? For years (including middle school!) the Scooby Doo Ghoster Coaster was the only roller coaster I would get on. And it terrified me.

    I finally decided to ride the scary rides and I’m still terrified but I love them too. I’m sure E will come around one day. 🙂

    1. Yup. I can’t remember if the one he did last year was scooby doo or the ghost coaster.

      I love the terrified/excited feeling — although once the drop was so fast I almost blacked out on a coaster. Wait, are you terrified now?

      1. Oh my gosh, I was on the verge of blacking out (like, seeing spots and head drooping!) the entire time on Intimidator 305 (the new coaster at Kings Dominion). It was the most terrifying ride ever! I cried at the end.

        I’m still terrified on thrill rides but I like the excited/terrified feeling. Well, most of the time.

  3. The roller coaster always seems like a good idea. Kind of like meeting the eight foot chef person. Except I didn’t even want to do that.

    Glad you survived.

  4. I too hoped I birthed ride buddies when my kids were small. We went to Kings Dominion when my youngest was 5 and I made him ride the Scooby Doo. He was terrified once the ride was over and I dragged him screaming NOOOOO DON’T MAKE ME RIDE IT all the way back up the ramp and back onto the ride. Fortunately, there was a very small line. He loved it the second time and for the 15 times after that. I was a little worried it would backfire on me though.

  5. That is awesome. Yeah I am not a roller coaster fan for this reason maybe. My dad took me on one when I was young and I can still remember screaming my lungs out. But I hope E does become your roller coaster buddy one day. My daughter V has not tried any rides yet, but my husband hopes she will be his.

      1. Worlds of Fun is a park in Kansas City. Six Flags is in St. Louis. I’m smack between them here in Missouri…

        I love the Six Flags coaster in STL called “The Boss.” It’s a big, fast, wooden coaster that beats the crap out of you…punishing you for riding it. It also lifts your right out of your seat when you come over the hills…holy sssshiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii—-t!


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