I'm With You
We almost decided not to go to Knott’s Berry Farm today, though we’ve had it on the calendar for a long time — we knew it was going to be hot as Hades. It takes an act of Congress to coordinate all our schedules for an entire day, so we just decided to brave it. Well, not me really. You know how I love me some hot weather (unless I’m running in it at noon).
Charli and I grabbed Nekter smoothies (the Turmeric Sunrise is my new fave) and headed up to Buena Park at about 10 o’clock to meet Chase and Karen. Yes, it was hot and sweaty. But these are the hours and minutes I wouldn’t trade for anything. I love these people. They are my people. My heart and soul. Being with them is the best kind of medicine.
We rode the rollercoaster with the steepest drop in California, Hang Time, and I do believe I left some internal organs hanging at the top of the vertical drop. And I rode the Accelerator, although I swore last time I rode it I would never again subject my brain to that much velocity — it takes off at 0-82 mph in 2.3 seconds.
As we strolled through the park, hopping on ride after ride, I remembered Chandler’s 8th grade graduation trip to Knott’s Berry Farm. We rode everything together. I hold every experience, every memory, so close to my heart. I also remembered letting Chase miss school on his birthday to come to Knott’s Berry Farm when he was young. It wasn’t crowded, so we were able to do some rides over and over without even getting in line again.
Words are not adequate to express how grateful I am for the privilege of being present with Chase, Chance, Chandler, and Charli as they were growing up. Thank you, Chip, for the gift of being home with our young children. I don’t take it for granted.
After a long, hot, absolutely wonderful day at Knott’s, Charli and I decided to visit Porto’s, a famous Cuban bakery, a few blocks from the theme park. The parking lot was packed, but we got a spot as soon as we pulled in. We had to stand in line outside, as the attendant only let a few people in at a time to avoid overcrowding. This was obviously a hot spot. When they ushered us in, the attendant said, “If you need a cake, it’s to the left.” Charli and I simultaneously asked, “Does anyone really need a cake?”
Charli got a guava smoothie, and I waited in line for the food. I went with what everyone on Yelp said were the must-haves from Porto’s — cheese rolls, potato cheese balls, and chicken empanadas. Charli also wanted to try the caramel flan. The lady asked if we wanted a sample. We said, “Sure.” She handed us two full-sized pastries! Long story short — there’s a reason the parking lot is packed and the line is out the door. I really wanted to save the third spicy pepper and potato cheeseball for tomorrow. Maybe just one more bite.
When I got home, Chance was here. We talked for a long time about pretty much everything — enneagram, faith, relationships, work, podcasts.
A day that I get to spend time talking and laughing with my kids. That is the best day.
I’m going to skip back to our final minutes at Knott’s to end today’s blog.
For the last ride of the day, we stood in line behind a dad and his little pony-tailed girl, probably about seven or eight years old. We waited patiently for 45 minutes before finally arriving at the turnstiles to get on the Sidewinder. As we inched closer, the little girl looked up at her father, grabbed his hand and said, “It’s going to be scary, but I’m with you, Daddy.”
My good, good, Father, this is scary. But I’m with you. Thank you for this day — the best dose of medicine for my soul. Amen.