Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Six Flags

Taking my kids to Six Flags Great Adventure tomorrow—an annual trip that we always look forward to.

Yes, Six Flags is overcrowded and overpriced and a 2 1/2-hour drive. Yes, the food is nasty, the bathrooms a mixed bag. Yes, the lines can be long. Six Flags, however, also gave me one of my all-time great parenting moments.

Two years ago, my daughter Casey was 7 and afraid of loop roller coasters. She’d been on myriad coasters with big hills and crazy drops—but never a loop. This is actually funny, because I remember (as a child) being terrified of the upside downers, too. Then, once you do it, it’s sorta like, “Oh.”

Anyhow, Casey agreed to ride Batman, a super fast coaster with two loops. She was terrified and petrified and painfully nervous. As I sat next to her, my heart sorta broke as her face turned to terror. Maybe she wasn’t ready. Maybe I was being a dick. Then—we went down the hill. Whooooooosh! Then—the first loop. Then—midway through the second loop—she screamed. Not a scream of fear, though, or of pain. She screamed this: “I’M DOING IT! I’M REALLY DOING IT!”

Pure love.