I wanted to treat my two girls to a day of fun yesterday. They had worked hard during the recently ended year of school and deserved a day out of Dodge . So, we piled in the Slovie-mobile and went to King’s Dominion, one of Virginia’s two big name, massive theme parks.  We’ve been a ton of times in the 12.5 years we’ve lived in VA, and have seen many rides come and go. But one of my favorites is Rebel Yell, a classic out and back racer wooden coaster.

I always ride Rebel Yell. Even when my fanny has been a tad too plump to fit in the partitioned seat, I’ve gone on with one ass cheek painfully resting on the divider. It may have been the first big roller coaster my oldest girl ever rode. Now she is fearless. She will ride everything.

I took my first-born on her first looping coaster here at King’s Dominion, of that I am sure. It was the Anaconda which loops, corkscrews and bashes your head so senseless that you can’t quite recall if you actually enjoyed your ride. I was scared shitless to go on it, but she was ready, willing and able to take the leap to steel coasters and I didn’t want to dissuade her. Plus everyone else in our group had a case of the chicken shits. Mommy to the rescue once again.

Throw me for a loop

I hate looping coasters. I went on Lighting Loops at Great Adventure back in the 80’s and hated it. Then I was forced to ride Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa in the 90’s with a gaggle of in-laws. I kept my eyes closed the whole time.

But a wooden coaster? I’m almost always game. When my younger daughter reached coaster-riding age, I got her on the Scooby Doo Coaster at King’s Dominion and she loved it. So naturally when she finally reached the required height to ride the big coasters last summer, we took her on Rebel Yell.

She was scared, but willing to give it a try. When we got up to the loading area, my oldest asked if she could ride with her sister on her inaugural voyage. And this is the very point where my mommy senses went flying south for the winter. I said “yes.”

I sat behind them and watched as we flew out and back, up and down. When we got back to the station, I asked her how she liked it, and with a grave face she headed for the exit.

My stomach sank. Ruh Roh, Rorge.

When I asked her what was wrong, she said she was afraid the entire ride that she was going to fly out of her seat. See, if I had been riding with her, I would have snapped on the mommy seat belt – my arm across her body – and held her firmly in place while we laughed and enjoyed the ride. Instead, she rode with sister who held on for her own dear life and left my wee one to fend for herself.

There was no getting her on a coaster the rest of the day. Throughout summer, winter and fall, she was adamant that her big coaster days were over. Boy did I blow it. I had a vision of her at 42 riding the Scooby Coaster and knew that this season I had to get her back on the horse.

So when I suggested the trip to KD, I told my youngest to gird her loins for a trip on Rebel Yell. Panic flooded her face and I knew I had my work cut out for me.

The day was great. It had rained heavily the night before and the day was overcast and a bit cooler than it had been. It being Wednesday and early in the season, the park was pretty empty. It was an amusement park enthusiasts dream – cloudy skies and no lines. While my oldest and her friend went to ride the attractions I’d need 7 figures to even consider, kidlet #2 and I hit our favorites.

We were really having fun. I LOVE when I get one on one time with either of  my girls, and as the day progressed, I kept suggesting Rebel Yell. She would say no, but then add a maybe. Ah ha! A chink in the armor. I had some wiggle room.

By 3 pm, I knew I had to make my move. The park was closing at 6 (early season hours) and I still hadn’t squeezed my ample ass into a decent coaster. I told her it was time for us to ride, but that she didn’t have to come. I’d be willing to let her sit on a bench while sister and I rode – she could hold our keys and cell phones. As we neared the entrance, I wondered if she would actually come.

She entered the walkway with us, and the during long and winding walk to the loading platform remained silent. It was eerily like a death march. When we got to the loading slots, I told her she could still bail – she could wait on the exit platform for us, but I said, “you really should come. It’s so much fun and I promise I’ll hold you down with all my might.”

She got in. The entire ride up the hill she chanted “scoobydoocoaster, scoobydoocoaster” and then we reached the top. I tightened the mommy seat belt and we plunged down the first hill. The worst was over and we were racing up and down the hills, noisily rumbling along.

And she was laughing! She was screaming “yeah!” and having a fucking blast. I did not release my mom grip, and feeling the safety of my embrace she actually put her hands up. Only for a second, but she was a true coaster enthusiast for a second or two.

Party on Wayne. Party on Garth

After the ride was over and she declared total coaster awesomeness, she needed a fix and fast. So we headed over the Hurler. While this is a great coaster, the seat partitions are even more narrow than on Rebel Yell. As I tried to wedge myself in the seat I knew I was in trouble.

The fit was not a good one, but I couldn’t let my new coaster buddy down. I sat very much askew in the seat as the attendant jammed the safety bar deep into the flesh of my chubbylicous belly. I employed the mommy belt and off we went.

This coaster is notoriously rough, and I held onto her through every twist, turn, rise and rumble – and I felt every fucking shake and shimmy. By the time the train pulled back into the station I was physically exhausted.

My arm was shaking, my ass was throbbing, and I was almost out of breath. I realized that between hollers meant to persuade my daughter that this was fun, I was holding my breath the entire ride. The walk back to my oldest and her buddy was a slow one, but to hear my youngest rave about the ride she has just taken was worth every ache and throb.

It won’t be long before she’ll be looking towards the larger rides. The steel ones. The ones that invert, and twist and corkscrew and loop. And then it will be time to push my coaster girl out of the nest, cause mommy don’t go there.

Big sister will have to take her under her steel coaster wing and teach her how to fly.

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