Thursday, July 25, 2013

Three Inches: Why we traveled to Oklahoma.

Between August 2012 and June 2013 Ivory grew three inches.

As I labeled the pencil line I had just traced above her head a sudden wave of panic washed over me.

We have to go to Oklahoma now. Now. NOW!

I ran a few numbers, studied our calender and scrolled through available flights. By the time Adam walked through the door I was certain that we had to make the trip and that we really could make it happen.

I approached it like this: "Ivory grew three inches and we have to go to Oklahoma."

An integral part of my childhood (and my mother's for that matter) were summer visits to the Bartlesville Kiddie Park.  In my mind Ivory was already towering over all the height restrictions.  We simply had to make it back before she was too tall to ride round and round in the tiny metal cars, the wooden horse carriages, the motor boats and into the sky on the pint sized ferriswheel.

The summer I was fourteen, after having received a work permit from my principal, I spent my evenings strapping tiny tots into cars, driving the train and occasionally serving big fluffy clouds of cotton candy.  I call it my first job, when in reality I was also cleaning a dental office and a perpetually dusty dental arts lab (think custom made ceramic teeth).  In spite of the dismal pay, the heat and the sticky soda water that ran down my legs as we emptied the evening's trash, I loved working there.

Ivory grew three inches and we drove hours, flew half way across the country, drove a few more hours to watch our children go round and round, up and down, with pure expressions of bliss on their faces.

I watched Sylvan's face morph from initial fear, confusion and then finally pure enjoyment on his first ferriswheel ride.  Ivory gleefully spun in circles in a bumper car, not quite figuring out the controls. Yes, for the simple pleasure of watching the kid's faces, this trip had to happen.

(The expressions on the faces of the teens working the rides... well...  I just wanted to shout at them: Smile! This job is fun! I know, because I used to be you.)

Ivory grew three inches, but this summer, she still stepped through the space underneath the bar at the entrance of every ride.  It was perfect.

1 comment:

  1. So nice! It was WONDERFUL to see everyone at Kiddie Park. It is so strange to me...I remember my first tiny ferris wheel seemed so big and I loved going up, up, up while gazing into the trees! Then seeing my own children there...after being overseas for so long, it just didn't seem possible that my own children could possibly be at Kiddie Park! And then GRANDCHILDREN???? It was surreal and worth every second!