Walking around a theme park is prime time for people watching. This is almost more enjoyable than the actual theme park itself. I was astounded at how much money I spent to walk around in the abject heat of Florida’s summertime. The reprieve of occasional indoor activities was tantamount only to the glee I derived from watching other people interact.

One man shouts into his cell phone in a corner of the park, which as it turns out isn’t quite a corner but a cluster of trees within direct earshot of many children. Explitives were flying out of his mouth faster than a sunburn on a Yankee.

(A brief side-bar. I never understood why my parents adored certain theme parks more than others. I can now narrow it down to attractions in which alcohol was served.)

Parents tend to have a decreased amount of tolerance as the day wears on. In the morning, waiting in lines, people are cheerful. Laughing, talking, witty banter back and forth between family members. As the day drags on, the temperatures climb nearing the oven-like temperatures of 100 degrees or so, witty banter is thus replaced by angry comments. “Well we would have gotten in line sooner if you had remembered that Suzy was scared of snakes and would have a melt-down after that ride.” “Daddy will be right back after he goes into this special store and has a special drink that helps him tolerate mommy’s nagging.” And so on.

Ah family togetherness. It’s stressful enough to keep everyone’s lids on in the comfort of your own home, but mixing physical activity, loud noises, and the potential for tantrums, and you’ve got a full-scale tinderbox on your hands. Only the strongest survive.

As I sat back on a bench yesterday, looking up at the sun and feeling the Florida rays brown my shoulders I thought how lucky I was to take a walk through family world. Thinking about starting a family isn’t neccesarily out of the question for me. But I think I know more than ever lately that it will be far, far down the road, if not into the next county or state. There’s no rush. Especially since once you make it to Kiddyland, there’s no going back, turning around, or reverse. It’s a theme park with no exit or closing time.

I hope they serve beer.

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