James spent his final four in utero months riding around Holiday World & Splashin' Safari as Mommy took reporters and travel writers on tours of the parks.
When my ob/gyn figured out how significant a baby was on the way, he offered to speed things up a bit. Sweet Baby James was 12 days early when he was born on August 12, 1999, yet still weighed in at a very respectable 9 lbs. 13 oz.
He was already making plans:
Several of the coaster club publication editors asked for a photo of the Raven Maven's new baby (yes, that's what they call me), and this one was an instant hit.
Mouth open wide, arms in the air.
Ready for airtime.
James turned six last month. Time for Kindergarten.
And the mandatory quick-before-school-starts-up doctor's check-up.
When James hopped up on the scale and then had his height measured, we forever crossed over into a new era.
Forty-eight inches tall.
I've worked here long enough that instead of my mind converting 48" to "four feet," my immediate thought was:
He can ride the coasters now.
Dr. Kreilein just happened to be walking down the hall and saw my stunned look. "Hey, James -- you're tall enough to ride The Raven and The Legend! Way to go!"
Dr. Kreilein has two boys of her own. And season passes. She understands. It's a bit surreal to have your pediatrician look up after listening to your child's heartbeat and ask, "So how's The Voyage coming along?"
James's heartbeat was probably a bit elevated. He's been wanting to get on those coasters for years.
When will I be old enough?
Saturday was the day.
Gary and I cautioned James ahead of time that he had to measure 48" in the park, just in case there was a slight discrepancy.
Saturday afternoon, yours truly got to work on the Golden Ticket Awards news release.
Daddy and James had coasters to ride.
James really likes air-time.
He likes the front seat. He likes the back seat. No complaints about the middle seats either.
He can't get enough.
"James, let's go ride some other rides," suggested my husband.
Aw, Dad ... they're all boring.
Good gravy. I given birth to one of them.
My baby is an enthusiast!
Upon arriving home that evening, James dragged out his tub-o-K'nex and went right to work on ...
Raven: The Home Version.
If you look closely you can see he even included the "dogs" going up the lifthill (they make the "click, click, click" sound) and the flags.
James and The Raven have taken over our living room. Yesterday I got up off our couch and obliterated the queue!
My red-haired son isn't completely single-minded though; he occasionally takes a break to head back to the computer alcove to watch the coasters' streaming video.
Mom, what color will The Voyage's flags be?
My youngest found a way to express his true feelings to me the other evening. Adding his own twist to a quote from his favorite Spider-Man movie, James solemnly announced:
"With great coasters comes great responsibility."