Sunday, March 8, 2009

The FAIRest in the land

We spent this past weekend in Ga working on my MIL's rental house. My knees are still hurting from re-painting the grout in the kitchen (who knew you could do that?) but the end result of all our efforts truly paid off. All the kids and grand kids were together helping minus one bachelor brother who lives in Utah, so it was actually fun as well!

However, my story begins before the grout and before the barbecue and potato salad that we had for lunch. Those, my dears, were the happy times. No, no. THIS story instead begins at the fair.

Our drive from Florida to Georgia was approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours long. As we passed through Colquit, Ga we spotted the tiniest fair on the side of the road. Neon lights were flashing... begging us to come and partake. And so we did.

There were the usual fair food booths, about seven rides total and fabulous country folk welcoming us to their small town carnival. (If there's a fair on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, it is mandatory for Aaron and I to stop. Always.)

We told the kids they could each ride 1 ride and then we had to hit the road again. Brianna chose the first one she saw and I figured Kai could go ahead and ride that one too. It looked harmless enough--just a space ship type seat that went up and around in a diagonal plane. After Brianna got in they looked at Kai and said, "He's probably too small to ride this by himself." I said, "Well, I guess I could ride with him too" and I hopped in between them.

Our little spaceship inched up slowly as others boarded their own ship behind us. I thought how it was very much like a ferris wheel and I held my sweet babies and we stared at the moon. I showered each child with a kiss on the head thinking how absolutely lovely this moment was for us and how I would always remember it. Random stops at the fair. How I love them!

Then...our ride began.
We began to pick up speed. Fast. What? I thought this ride was a slow and easy one for kids? We started going faster and faster and faster and then suddenly our spaceship began to twirl back and forth. We went high and low and my mind and my stomach flopped. I was in the air. With my babies. Going way too fast. Holding on to the minuscule bar between us and death and I didn't know if we would come out of it alive. Kai began to cry, "hurt hurt hurt hurt hurt" and I began to scream "STOP!" Back and forth. On a rickety-no-good-could-break-any-moment-tiny-carnival-ride-in-the-middle-of-freak'n nowhere. I was so so so scared.

I cannot even begin to describe my panic.
My stomach was in my throat and I was holding on for dear life. Tears were falling. My children. Oh my children! I couldn't help them. I couldn't stop it. I begged and screamed for them to stop the ride. But they couldn't hear me. We were going too fast.
Suddenly one of the workers looked up and I think he could see the panic in my face. He stopped it, but it had to slow down first. It was the longest thirty seconds of my life.

Finally, we were safe on the ground.
Kai was fine. Brianna was fine. I was alive, but not fine. I scowled at Aaron while he bought the corn dogs and candy apples and I remained in a shaky state until we were safely back in the car and on the road.

Never again, my fair food lovers. Never again.

update: My MIL thought this was HILARIOUS when I first told her and just called me again to say how HILARIOUS she still thinks it is. Hmmm....


kladle said...

Holy Cow! I hate fair rides! Used to love them as a young kid, but as a mom, I very rarely let my kids ride on them. They just don't look too safe. I can relate to your scary event. Yikes!

Tara said...

That's so scary! It's probably a good thing that you were up with them, though! You may have been much more scared if you were on the ground watching your helpless children!

Sarah in the Middle said...

I have vivid memories of getting soooo scared and sick on a ride in our tiny town when I was about 14. That ended it for me :)
I was remembering the Puyallup fair we went to a couple summers ago - remember? What a joke!

nick said...

Oh to be Aaron on the ground watching his wife scream stop over and over!! Hopefully he was succesful in hiding his laughs and smiles!! I'm surprised they stopped the ride for you. I thought that was part of the fair experience, sitting next to someone that was yelling stop over and over but not getting their wishes. You're lucky!! In any case, this story was hilarious!!! I know many people have similar stories where they make promises to God that if they get off safely they promise to never ride another ride again!! I think my mom has kept this promise for 30 years!

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