The kids run up to the lift area where they step onto the moving sidewalk, holding the strap of the tube and the tube pulling up the rear. Carefree, they are taken to the top of the slope where they run to lane, and sit on the tube. The attendant spins them and gives them a huge shove and everyone watches while they speed down the hill spinning and laughing. When they get to the bottom, they run back to the lift area and start again.
The adults watch and worry that the straps from the kids’ tubes will trip another kid. Careful, they say. They trudge to the lift area where they manage the children – watching closely that they don’t cut in line or knock some smaller child over. They get on the moving sidewalk, careful to get well-balanced. It’s a long trip up. Careful not to get too distracted by the beautiful view, they oversee their charges. At the top of the hill, they look around to see which lanes will have the shortest wait. They negotiate with the children about who will go down in pairs, threes, and alone. If they are needed as a partner, so be it. If not, alone is fine. They push themselves off and down the hill they go.
I’m not saying that the adults don’t have fun. I, personally, had a blast. But as the day went on, I couldn’t help but think about the responsibility and the bigger picture. Sure it’s okay to have fun. But I had to be ever vigilant. Be sure the kids were accounted for. And safe. Be sure their hats stayed on their heads. That their feet were warm.
It’s more work to have fun than it used to be. You know, way back before kids. Come to think of it, it’s just more work. Period.