Last week A and I had the chance to hit the open road on vacation.
We’ve done a lot of things in the past, so this time we decided to stick relatively close to home – or well, we decided to road trip through our home state of Alabama. When we first started to envision this trip, we decided we were going to visit as many oddball or just plain hokey sites that we could. That trip of course would have taken several weeks to complete, so we left home with a general idea of the direction we wanted to take and decided to play it by ear. All I can say is after this vacation I pretty much need a full body massage and a couple weeks to sleep and recuperate!
A couple weeks before our trip A was talking about roller coasters. she loves them, but last time we were in an amusement park although there were some she could ride, there were many that she could not. I decided, at pretty much the last minute, to include roller coasters on this trip because I don’t know when we might get another chance. So – I chopped off the beginning portion of our trip (We were were going to begin in Hunstsville and wind our way downward) decided to begin in Atlanta at Six Flags, do the whole roller coaster thing for two days, then shoot back into Alabama at the Talladega Scenic Byway and be on our way.
So the big day finally arrived.
A and I hopped in the car in search of thrill rides, back road curiosities, and inner peace.
I have to say, I LOVE vacationing with my ADHD girl. We have the best time, and even getting there is awesome when you do it singing metal music at the top of your lungs and having extremely interesting car conversations.
Day One – Getting There
I was a bit nervous here because A spent the weekend at a retreat and I’d decided to leave as soon as I picked her up and head on to Atlanta where we could be there and ready for Six Flags Monday morning. I really wasn’t certain if it was the best idea ever to pick a teenaged ADHD’er up from a weekend spent with no sleep and put her in a car for 5 1/2 hours. I figured she’d sleep the whole way, so I didn’t worry about the scenic route for this first portion of our jaunt. I grabbed my kid and hit the interstate.
She looked amazing when I picked her up. She was positively glowing. She had that “retreat high.” She’d had an awesome weekend and was excited to share it with me. For the first hour and a half of our trip she told me all about her weekend and the impact it had on her. She called the retreat “life changing.” She was able to hear talks from adults as well as teens, spent time talking with others, sharing their lives, their faith and their struggles, and praying together. She talked about how inspiring it had all been, and how much the kindness of her peers, some she’d never even met, touched her. After that, she fell asleep but she was awake two hours later and we finished the drive singing – until she thought about something else from the weekend she wanted to tell me. We talked and laughed, finally arriving at our motel she was exhausted and took a shower and some melatonin and feel into a deep sleep – dreaming of roller coasters, no doubt!
Day 2 – Let the fun begin!
I can honestly say I don’t remember ever being as exhausted as I was when we got back to our hotel Monday night.
I used to love roller coasters, but maybe I’m getting old, because all I could think as we pulled into the parking lot at Six Flags ( A $25 parking spot, I may add, so I was kind of disappointed that the space did not come with a car wash, or something that would have made it worth twenty five bucks on top of the already pricey park ticket) was that it was a thousand billion degrees out and I must be losing my mind.
I did ride a couple rides this first day, but even though I’ve checked out okay, some health concerns this year had me questioning whether or not I should get on some of the wilder rides. So, sadly, A rode most of the rides alone this first day. Also, unfortunately, most of the roller coasters were only running on and off all day. There ended up being only one she didn’t get to ride but we knew we’d get to do it all over again the next day and hopefully they wouldn’t have to keep closing rides down.
I would have liked to have been more excited about it all on Monday, and maybe it was the heat, but I just wasn’t feeling it.
One of the other things I really wasn’t feeling, was the way some people dress!
Okay – it says clearly in the park, and also on my ticket, if I’m not mistaken, that if you are wearing a shirt that says something inappropriate that you will be asked to leave…it says you must be wearing a shirt. So why is it, please tell me, that some woman can walk around in a man’s white sleeveless undershirt – shirt drenched and soaking wet and SHE’S NOT WEARING A BRA! I see her boobies sagging and swaying and through the thin, wet material I can even see the bumps around her nipples! EWWWWWW! Now WHY can no one ask HER to leave? I might not want to read vulgar t- shirt slogans but I sure as hell didn’t want to see THAT either!! Then of course there are the little girls that you wonder what’s going to become of them when they grow up. There’s this kid running around, looks all of twelve. She’s wearing cut off shorts, and yeah, you can guess how short they are, cowboy boots (really? in this heat?) and a man’s white t-shirt (at least it was dry – or it was when I saw her) but she’s cut just the tops of sleeves out, like in jagged circles (you know, like some version of the cute tops that girls are wearing with the cut outs?) But I’m looking at this little girl and I don’t know, the whole look, or maybe it was the way she was carrying herself just kind of looked like she was going for the cowgirl hooker look. I often wonder if some girls have parents. I saw one girl walking around with her father and the the girls butt cheeks were hanging out of the bottom of her shorts. I cannot imagine walking around with my father with my backside showing. No way. And my mother would have beat me with a 2×4 if I had tried to leave the house like that. I do NOT want to look at little girl’s fannies. Gross.
I’m going to close off this segment with a quick (or not so quick, knowing me) word to the woman whose baby I picked up and carried up the stairs back at our motel. Now, I don’t know this woman, and it’s too much to hope she’d ever see this – BUT –
Thank you for not punching me or kicking me down the stairs when I picked up your little boy. He was trying to navigate those stairs as best he could with his short little toddler legs and one shoe – but he stumbled and fell. You were already halfway up, so I tried to set him upright again when he turned his crying face to me and held up his little arms. All I could do was pick him up. I tried to ask you if it was okay, I mean, I understand that there are people up to no good in this world, but you had your back to us and were ahead, so I guess you didn’t hear me.
Yes, I was starting to silently judge you right about then, I’ll admit it. So I picked him up and he was so wet it had soaked through his pants, but I gathered him and his shoe and carried him up with his arms wrapped tightly around my neck. We get to the top and you are opening the door to your room. I felt the need to say something, so I just told you that he was holding his arms out to me and I hoped it was okay that I went ahead and picked him up. You said, “It’s fine.” Nothing more. I tried to stand him up on his feet, but he wrapped his legs around me as much as he could and wouldn’t let go. It was a bit awkward, really. Finally I got him to let go and you said, “It’s his first time in a motel.” I said I hoped you had a good night.
But I noticed something then. I noticed the exhausted look in your eyes. Or was it defeat? I stopped judging and tried to think deeper.
Maybe you were just tired from your journey, but maybe there was more to it than that. Maybe you are going through a rough time right now. When I got back to my room, I thought about you and your little boy and I said a little prayer for you – for safe travels, for strength, and for happiness in your life. Take care of yourself and that precious baby. Good luck to you.
Tomorrow I get to do the theme park thing again, but then we get to have a more relaxing time. BUT – seeing A’s face and her grin when she gets off a ride made it all worth it. This was something she really wanted to do, but didn’t want to ask me, so I was glad to be able to do it for her.
Stay tuned for the rest of our crazy ADHD Road Trip – things get pretty interesting! 🙂