A bright blue sign that said Meteor graced us as we walked up the ramp toward the gate. I held her 4-year old hand in mine. Our hands were both sweating in response to the 80 degree, humid weather.
She skipped along in a clipity-clop cadence. With each skip, her size 8 feet landed on the gray planks of wood.
We approached the end of the line, and she began to dance impatiently in place. Her hand tugged on mine in an up and down motion. At one point, she nearly collided with the woman in front of her.
"Hold on, Meghan. It's almost our turn."
"I looove, loooove, looooove this one Mommy."
"I know honey. This one is fun, and I'm so glad to be going with you this time."
It was probably Meghan's sixteenth time, but we hadn't gone together. Suddenly, a tall linebacker sized man appeared before us, and he opened the black chain keeping us back. Meghan squealed with joy in anticipation, and tugged my hand in an attempt to run toward her latest obsession.
"Mommy! C'mon Mommy! It's our turn."
"Okay. Okay. Slow down though."
A cobalt blue roller coaster appeared before us. It was perched on top of a brand new wooden structure. The gray planks led us toward the coaster. Meghan broke into a run, and ran toward the first car. Her Dora crocks seemed to hover off the ground as she ran before me. Along the way, she sized up each seat. She selected the second row of seats, and jumped inside. I followed her into the blue seat.
"Sit down, Mommy. Sit down!"
A loud rachetlike sound popped, and a metal bar wrapped in a red cushion folded down on the top of our laps. The technician announced, "Keep your hands inside the coaster at all times." Meghan snuggled in next to my left side, and said, "I'm weady, Mama."
"Good because here we gooooooo."
The coaster lurched forward, and caught the bottom of our car on a large chain, which pulled the coaster up a large incline. The loud clicks and pops built the anticipation of the corresponding ride down the hill. Suddenly, Meghan put both of her arms in the air. In one confused thought, I was beaming with pride at her lack of fear, but also scared she'd slide right out of the coaster. I wrapped my left arm around her back and hip to hold her in.
We were now on the ride down the hill, and a scream erupted from within me. Meghan gleefully screeched, "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Meghan's yellowy hair bounced up and down in response to the coaster's movements, but I never loosened my grip on her hip. Several twists and turns later, and we were back into the covered area of the Meteor. The technician pulled a large lever, and we picked up speed to go back around another time.
"We're goin' again Mama! We're goin' again." Two more times around the track, and the technician finally brought the coaster to a stand still. Meghan's smile seemed nearly a mile wide. I'm not sure this is possible, but my heart was a little bit fuller with love for her.