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Together they stepped onto the painted wooden platform and slid into the waiting car of the Ferris wheel. By worldly Ferris wheel standards, it wasn’t a large, intimidating structure but it was the center attraction at the small beach front park, surrounded by little roller coasters and 30-foot slides. The seats cushions and wooden backs were forest green, the metal spokes were white, and yellow, white and blue lights lit up the structure in the early evening dusk.

The young girl settled into the seat, then smiled and nodded her head at her mother as if to let her know she was good. They fastened the seat belt and the attendant latched the protective safety bar over their laps. They patiently traveled backward car by car as other riders took their seats.

“Are you having fun today?” her mother asked, noting the child’s sunkissed cheeks were bright and flushed from the day’s excitement.

“Yes. This is wonderful,” the girl’s answer was an excited whisper. She peered over the gate at the ground and attractions, her eyes wide.

When all the passengers were loaded, the Ferris wheel began its slow, steady whirring travel around the hub. Once at the top and then propelling forward, the young girl giggled with glee and held onto the safety bar with both hands.

“Did you feel your stomach fall a little bit?” her mother asked, noting her own stomach settling back into place.

The girl nodded. It was pure heaven to her. They passed up and around and over again and she felt as if she were princess of the park. “I like this very much.”

As they continued their rotations illuminated by the twinkling rainbow of lights, the young girl leaned over and very gently kissed her mother’s shoulder.