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!”