When my kids were younger, I didn’t mind the theme park outings quite as much because the kids were happy to go on the rides that went about 2 mph and made cute little choo-choo noises. But they soon graduated to faster, scarier rides with names like “The Titan of Terror.”

When you have kids, going to theme parks is one of those necessary evils, like having the theme song to “SpongeBob SquarePants” stuck in your head or finding petrified Oreos under the cushions of your sofa.


When my kids were younger, I didn’t mind the theme park outings quite as much because the kids were happy to go on the rides that went about 2 mph and made cute little choo-choo noises. But they soon graduated to faster, scarier rides with names like “The Titan of Terror.”


This is when I became “The Holder.”


In case you are not familiar with this person, The Holder is the one who is too afraid to go on the gravity-defying, puke-inducing, loop-de-loop roller coasters, so he or she waits by the ride exit and holds all the stuff that will fall out of the pockets of the idiots who are going on the ride.


Some people think The Holder is a weenie. I like to think The Holder is the smartest person in the group, who values life and her lunch too much to go on these rides.


Of course, the problem with being The Holder is it leaves you with a lot of down time. Most of the rides my kids want to go on have hour-long waits. So what’s a girl to do while she waits for her brood to do their loop-de-loops?


As I waited for my kids to get off yet another roller coaster, I started to get hungry. This might have had something to do with the fact that I was doing nothing for 40 minutes and that the enticing smells of fried dough, pizza, french fries and soft serve ice cream were wafting at me from all sides.


Thinking that the pizza would be the least of all evils, I decided to get a slice. It may, in fact, have been the least of all evils, if it were the only thing I ate. But 10 minutes later, I got a text from the kids saying they were getting back in line, so I got some fried dough for dessert. Over the course of the afternoon, I also shared some cheese fries with my daughter, tried the cotton candy, tested the kids’ fudge to make sure it was OK, sampled someone’s chocolate shake and sucked down a slushee.


As the day was winding down, I announced that I thought it was time to head home.


“But Mom, we still haven’t gone on the biggest roller coaster,” protested my kids.


“I think we should go before someone gets sick,” I declared.


“But I feel fine,” said my son.


“Me, too,” agreed my daughter.


I shook my head. “That’s good. But I was talking about me.”


Visit Tracy Beckerman’s blog at www.lostinsuburbia.net.