Note from the writer: This is a bit of a confession. I am not Catholic, but sometimes wish I were. It would be great to walk into a box, confess my sins, and be guilt free by saying three Hail Marys and one Our Father.
During the summer of 1999, Joe and I packed the girls into the minivan and headed out for a trip to Sea World. This was not our first adventure to the land of sea lions and Shamu, so we knew our red wagon was essential for the day’s trip.
The wagon was a radio flyer of contemporary design, similar to the current Pathfinder model. Ours did not have the handy cup holders (genius) or seat belts (super genius), but it held two small kids comfortably. It had a nifty compartment at the base —we used it that day to pack towels and sunscreen.
Our morning began with a visit to Sea Lion Stadium. For some reason Hannah was terrified. (She was annoying like that. Never knew what was going on in that head of hers. Still don’t.) Joe carried her up the stairs, while Olivia and I continued to watch the hijinks of Clyde and Seamore.
From there we trekked to Beluga Stadium. Hannah did not freak at this event, so we were all able to watch in the dolphins and belugas compete in a variety of challenges. Did you know a dolphin jumps higher than a beluga whale? Shocking, I know.
We worked up a sweat cheering on the belugas, then we headed to the waterpark. The girls hopped in the wagon and we hauled them over to the Lost Lagoon. This is where things went sour.
Pirates of the Kiddie Pool
We rented a locker for our clothes, but there was no way to secure the wagon. We parked it by a curb and were confident it would be there when we returned.
The rest of the day was spent without our radio flyer. Joe and I alternated carrying Olivia. At the end of the day, we were exhausted. BUT WAIT! We had not seen Shamu! We made it to the theatre just as the last show was starting.
The stadium was packed, but we managed to find seats midway down the steps. Shamu did his thing and the show ended to a round of applause. As the crowd began to move up the stairs toward the exit, I saw it.
Walking the Plank
A righteous anger overcame me. I shouted over the massive crowd, “HEY, THAT IS OUR WAGON!” A superpower surged through me and I was able to leap over eight bleachers, 12 adults, and 9 toddlers to confront the thief.
I debated the cowardly heister over the ownership of the wagon as his wife and children scattered. A security guard approached with caution. Joe and the girls eventually caught up with me. Joe knew I was unstoppable.
My young girls were horrified (of me, not the thief).
The security guard looked afraid (of me, not the thief).
Families walked around the six of us for fear of becoming a part of the fray.
The thief had no case.
I had no case.
But I won—because that was our wagon.
And because I have a strong sense of justice… and a temper.
I opened the compartment of the wagon’s base and threw the criminal’s wet towels on the ground while simultaneously giving him and the onlookers an ethical sermon on what a horrific parental example he was.
Yeah, I know—I am one to talk. I get it. That is the confession part.
In the future, when you read a post that has the word “incident” in the headline, prepare yourself for a tale of my passion getting the best of me. In the meantime—since I cannot go to confession—I hope to ameliorate through my chats with God as well maintain my Xanax drip.
(I hope I used ameliorate correctly! I was just dying to use that word.)