how a line at the water park will save your family

My friend Amy (there are a lot of us) posted this on her Facebook page yesterday: 

Saw a man with his 3 or 4 year old son on a merry-go-round today. Not once during whole ride (including the waiting in line) did he look up from his BlackBerry. He missed the whole experience. Pitiful.

I saw this while drinking my morning coffee, and clucked my tongue with superiority. What a clown! How sad his kid must have been. 

Then David and I hustled the two boys in the car and off we went for a day trip to a water park, about 45 minutes away. Once we got there, we sat in the front seats whipping off just one more email on our respective personal devices while the boys wheedled, “Let’s go! Please can we just GO!”

As we went to get out of the car, David stopped me. “Can we bring these in?” he said.
“I don’t know,” I said. I did know, of course; I just didn’t want to say it.
We stared at each other, both of us unwilling to go first. Slowly, gingerly, we both extricated our smart phones from our grasps and left them behind in the glove compartment.

Now seems like a good time to mention that everyone else east of the Mississippi also went to Splish Splash yesterday. (In fact, I’m sure I saw you on the Giant Twister.) Our day was spent standing in line, 30 to 40 minutes at a time, for a ride down that would last 30 to 40 seconds. 

Like a phantom limb, I kept reaching for my iPhone as the line inched along. If I had had it, I would have been tweeting and checking Facebook, letting the boys do an Ocarina concert, checking email, drawing mustaches on baby photos, you name it. We would have been so productive standing in those lines. We would also have ignored one another completely.

Instead, thanks to being in a super-soaker environment, we had nothing to do but stand there and talk to each other. And so that’s what we did. 

Thank you, Splish Splash. Thank you, hordes of flume riders. Thanks to you, it was hot. And it was boring. And it was wonderful. 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mommy on the Spot August 27, 2010 at 11:43 pm

phantom limb – I totally get this!

I think it's great that you were able to live in the moment and make that moment meaningful with you kids. I think that's what making great memories is all about!


Wendi August 29, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Great reminder.

Plus that means no compromising iPhone photos at the waterpark, either.


Amy Wilson August 29, 2010 at 8:27 pm

y'know Wendi, I meant to say that: that the reason I had no photos of us being bored standing in line was that I couldn't take any.

It was definitely bizarre to be in a bathing suit, barefoot, crushed in line with hundreds of strangers surrounding you. Not for the self-conscious.


Courtney August 30, 2010 at 7:46 pm

I take a break from being "plugged" in every so often, and it is refreshing and wonderful! My family was at a waterpark this weekend for two nights and it was probably one of our best weekends yet. My husband and I both put our phones away, the TV never went on except for a nighttime movie – we spent the days swimming with our daughter, napping and eating and just enjoying being together. Came home refreshed, and now are plugged back in!


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