This past weekend, Francine, Alexander and I took in the Dundas Cactus Festival for part of the afternoon on Saturday. It was a sweltering day (and one that I took glory in and did NOT complain about, since the previous parts of the summer were so unseasonably cool that it didn't feel right to complain when summer heat and humidity finally arrived. Yes, I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I like my seasons distinct. A hot, humid summer and a cold, snowy winter both sound perfect to me.)
In any case, Alexander really wanted to go on the FREE FALL ride at the midway set up there. It was pretty darn high. Being afraid of heights I wasn't particularly interested in going on it so tried dissuading him from going on it by measuring his height against the height restriction board in front of the ride.
Sigh. He was just tall enough to go on it.
"It's really high and really scary when it drops," I said to him.
"No, Dad, I want to go. It'll be fun."
"It'll be really scary. Dad's scared to go on it, so it'd be okay if you were too scared to go on it too."
"No, Dad. I want to go on it."
"Don't you want to go back on the dragon roller coaster again?" I asked, pointing at the kiddie roller coaster that he'd already enjoyed.
"Nope. This one. Please."
"All right," I said. "We can go on it."
So we did.
We got strapped in and slowly went up . . . and up . . . and up. Based on looking at the condo buildings across the street, we were at least 8 stories high -- somewhere in the realm of 800 feet or so. Alexander and I were both excited at the marvelous view. I warned him that when we got to the top it would drop really quickly and be frightening but we'd both be okay. He said "Okay, Dad."
I told him to hang on really tight and put my hand on his leg.
Then we dropped.
I grunted rather loudly -- almost a "D'oh!" sound as we plummeted towards the ground. I'm actually surprised that I didn't scream like a little girl.
Then our descent slowed rather quickly near the bottom and we drifted down -- I was expecting more of a jarring feeling and perhaps a bouncy bouncy effect. But we drifted down the last 10 to 20 feet. Gently. My stomach was still in my throat. I'm not sure where my testicles were. Based on the feeling at that point, I wouldn't have been surprised if I looked up to see them hovering in the air several hundred feet above us.
Beside me, Alexander was completely quiet. His eyes were two huge saucers. I told him we were all right, everything was fine. His legs were shaking.
"Alexander, are you okay?" I asked.
He was quiet a few moments longer -- then he spoke.
"I don't want to do this again, Dad."
I'm not sure if he heard my huge sigh of relief or not.
"Okay," I said. "Next time we'll just go on the bumper cars again. Sound good?"
"Yeah! They were fun!"
We then moved on to the street-fest activities, checked out the booths, got Alexander a Spider-Man Popsicle, worked up a sweat, then headed back home for a refreshing dip in the pool.