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The big yellow tube at the top of the hill dumps each inflated raft, at pretty good speed, into a huge red funnel called the Tornado…and a wet, wild ride begins.

Both of the twins are adamant all morning.

F: I don’t want to go to the water park!
C: I’m not riding anything!
P: You’re going.
F: I don’t want to go to the water park!
C: I’m not riding anything!
D: Guys, come on. You’re going to have fun. Trust me.
F: No, I’m not.
C: I’m just staying home with Grandma and Grandpa.

Two minutes after arrival at a huge park with something for anyone who likes water, they are smiling and laughing and remain smiling and laughing…until…

…for Fisher, a stubbed toe disturbs his flow, thankfully at the very end of the day but unfortunately right before anyone spares a thought to snap a picture. Eh, it will heal.

…for Cory, the long trek, carrying a huge inflated raft, up the hill and stairs to the yellow Tornado tube interrupts the fun. Her screams, SCREAMS, all the way up there compete with pop music blaring over loudspeakers for the entire park’s attention.

C: No! No! No!
D: You’ll be with Daddy and Papa the whole time, Cory.
C: No! No! No!
P: Come on, Cory, you’ll be fine.
C: No! No! No!

After all of her tired sassafras of the previous 24 hours, in opposition to heading to the park, in opposition to this or that to eat, in opposition to nearly everything, it truly pains Daddy and Papa to drag her ass, kicking and screaming the whole way there, and to throw it unceremoniously into the four-person raft. The stoic attendant actually breaks a smile. Cory’s face, as the inflated raft drops at warp speed into that Tornado, is heartbreaking. Just terrible for most parents to see that kind of look. No self-respecting parent would enjoy seeing that expression on a child’s face. What kind of monsters would take any satisfaction or pleasure from that such desperate yelling and crying? That would be sadistic or something. Some wounds just don’t heal.

Fisher stops sulking too late to enjoy an Icee; Cory regains her composure rather quickly, some might say too quickly, before spending the rest of her park time in the wave pool and then slurping down her own Icee, as well as some of his…

And Daddy and Papa? Daddy and Papa sleep a little harder that night, the hint of a smile on each face, thinking warmly of that moment of terror, er, joy, joy, that is, joy at…the taste of an Icee, yah, those Icees are so good, the look of joy on that sweet child’s face, as she sipped that Icee, that’s the thing that stays with you, those moments of joy…


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