What do you get when you mix five moms, nine kids, a dozen water slides and a large pizza? A great day at Kings Island.
We arrive early, flash our gold passes and scoot past the waiting crowds into the park. The extra fifteen minutes before the gates opens allow us to search out a shady spot to set up camp.
The kids divide and conquer. Each drags a lawn chair and arranges it in a circle facing one another. Under the protection of six trees, our impromptu village offers a place to regroup and relax. Perfect.
My kids know it’s a special outing by the fact that I agree to buy lunch at the park. Usually I pack all sorts of cut up fruit (groan) and cheese sticks (yuck). The idea of pizza is too much. Too much. When I opt for the unlimited drink refill wristband, the boys look at me like I’m Santa and the Easter Bunny rolled into one.
“Unlimited? All day?” F. asks his mouth watering at the idea of a trough full of carbonated pop. “Lemonade,” I tell him. Why build up the dream only to crush it later?
Even without Sprite, it’s a great day. The kids play well. The moms laugh and gossip. We remember to reapply sunscreen to the kids.
But, alas, all good things must end. Plus, the moms decide to drop the kids at home and reconvene at half-price martini night at a local restaurant. It’s time to go.
I look around for any kids with refillable cups. There. Sitting on a red striped towel with his dad. I carefully peel off the wristband and walk over.
“Do you have one of these?” I ask the dad. “We’re leaving,” I explain.
“We tried but they were out,” he answers. It’s not a surprise. Unlimited drinks on a 100-degree day sways even the most reluctant Kings Island consumer.
I curl the wristband around his son’s thin wrist and push the tacky end to seal it.