With a scream from the child in his lap, he went down the slide, feet in the pocket of the sack. The said son in the lap threw his hands up, thrilled at the built up anticipation of the climb to the top of the slide. The father felt the youngling’s hands slap his chest, and they coasted down to the fake golf green, both of their lungs lacking air.
Handing the ride attendant at the bottom the sack, they exited the gate to the rest of the park. The man felt his arm wrenched as his son was running to the next ride, and the ride after that, and the ride after that, his thin legs flopping around in the child sized kahki shorts. The man passed a woman on the rail of the merry go round with a smile, as a girl on a bouncing horse cried “Daddy!” With an exhasperated grin he followed his eager eyed son, whom was determined to say he had gone on every ride.
Finally- the wetboats. He passed the boy onto the ride attendant, watching the teenager secure the child into the seat. With a sigh, he allowed himself a moment to catch his breath, leaning over the rail as the boat went by. The son reached an arm out in an attempt to touch hands with his father- the man laughed, and stood poised, slipping his hands in his pockets as the machine’s motor pulled him to the far side of the ride.
He felt his pants tighten, as his palms rested in the pockets, resting on his thighs. No pressure. Amusement. These fleeting thoughts went through his head as he watched his son go by. The ideas were so cliche, that if the boy was happy he was happy- but he bought into it. Just that few minutes of screams that were somewhat distant, trying to reach his mind, he was at peace, as he was an observer, disconnected as he watched his son grow. He had to be removed, sometimes, to allow the child to discover who he was on his own.
The boy climbed down from the boat, and stumbled to the exit, where he clasped his parent’s hand. The baby fat parted to reveal a smile under the breeze tossed thin brown hair. The boy was happy, and the father was content, a night of the family enjoying themselves in a bright lighted amusement park, a break from the city life. “Daddy, where to next?” the squeaky voice asked. The father reached into his pocket once more, in search of tickets, but found none.