It is amazing to me how much can change so quickly and how those changes can affect you. I grew up on Long Island, so I remember all the spots that most Long Island parents my age remember, like Jolly Rogers with the whirly bird ride, and the old Ground Rounds, that were dark and played old cartoons on huge screens while you ate popcorn and peanuts out of baskets on your table.
The places your parents took you as kids, the places where you had fun, are always close to your heart and are the places you hope one day to take your own kids to give them the same fun memories that you have.
My favorite place was Nunleys. My parents and grandparents took us there at least twice a month. It was a great place to go with the kids, cheap, fun and easy to get to. I would ride the carousel over and over and over again. Back then they still had the brass ring on the side of the carousel. As you went by you had to reach out and grab a ring, if you got the brass one, you won a free ride. I remember being annoyed all the time that I would have to give some of the brass rings to my sister, who although older than me, was not tall enough ( I was an extremely tall child) to reach out and grab the rings. Funny the things you remember.
However, that is my point the things you remember the memories you want to give your children. My daughter remembers Nunleys she was 7 or 8 when they closed, but my son who was an infant doesn't really remember it at all. We have pictures of him there, even on the very last day it was open, but he doesn't remember. It bothers me sometimes that he doesn't have that memory to share with me and his sister.
So, it got me to thinking about all the places that are still around that he can enjoy that I enjoyed as a child. I think part of the fun of parenting is wanting to watch your child experience the things that made you smile as a child. You can see it from both sides at that point, as a child, and then through your own child`s eyes.
With the summer coming up, I once again plan to take my kids to all the places on the Island that are still around, like the Vanderbilt Planetarium, and the Long Island Game Farm. When you grow up I think sometimes you worry that you wont be able to be a kid anymore once you have kids of your own. But, you know that just isn't true. Every time I see my children smile at something that I remember from my childhood I am a kid again, its a nice feeling. Try it sometime.