Timmy’s fourth birthday is a special memory. He was an avid fan of Sesame Street, especially Elmo, the small red furry child monster Muppet on the show. I had scheduled my summer vacation week off around his birthday so there wouldn’t be any interference by court appearances or work. His mother and I decided to take him Sesame Place in Langhorne. Sesame Place is a water park themed around the Children’s Television Network properties. While looking it up for admission prices, my wife had noticed there was to be a Breakfast with Elmo for an additional twenty dollars. The day was marked and plans were set into motion. Cookie was his absolute favorite. Tim had a stuffed Cookie doll that he kept on his bed with a Cookie Monster pillow.
We arrived at the water park, and admired the floral arrangements and topiary cut to the forms of Muppets paid our admissions, and set off to the food court to have Breakfast with Elmo, Zoe, the Count, and Cookie Monster. We had a Styrofoam plated breakfast of cold pancakes, greasy cold sausage, luke-warm orange juice, and I swallowed down bitter nasty coffee. I didn’t complain too much because my son’s eyes lit up when Elmo came walking by, followed by Cookie and Zoe. He stood rigid as the characters came near him. Elmo was supposed to be as big as him, just about three feet tall – not six foot! Gi coddled Timothy and picked him up to show him it was safe. His black Superman tank-top and yellow bathing suit and pool shoes, stood out against the furry Muppet as they shook hands.
We went from pool area to pool area. Tim and his mother did the lazy river ride as I snapped off pictures. Soon Tim wanted to climb the cargo netting and the monster maze room. Then he spotted the end all to be all of his favorite amusement rides – the roller coaster – the Vapor Trail with Grover standing guard high overhead. I was terrified Tim was too small. I sat down next to him and even with the safety bar in place and locked, I wrapped my right arm around him and my right leg across his little legs. When we exited the ride I purchased the photo of us. Oh how I wish I could take myself back to that time again!