By Karin Calloway


As we’re enjoying family vacation season, I recently recalled one of my moments in which I could be labeled a “bad parent.”

Yes, CSRA moms, nobody’s perfect! (A neighbor from when my kids were little, Fran Corbitt, used to say, “Let’s hope we make most of our mistakes when they’re little enough that they won’t remember.” Unfortunately, my story didn’t happen when they were too small to remember.)

My bad mommy moment occurred on a family trip to Disney World. My children were probably 8 and 10 at the time. Tripp, my oldest, desperately wanted to ride Space Mountain. He paced back and forth and finally we dialed the Disney operator to find out if he made the height requirement. He did! Boy, was he excited!

Upon entry to the park, as we were heading to Space Mountain, I spied an attraction without any line. I figured why not give it a try on our way into Tomorrowland.

The ride was called Alien Encounter. There were warning signs. Literally, they warned about taking young children, who might be easily scared, on the ride.

“Smart” mom that I am, I thought, “Oh, they always have to put those signs up for legal reasons.”

So on we marched. 

We wound around the rope dividers and came upon a pre-show area. It showcased a cute, little animotronic alien in a glass dome. There was something eerie about it, and Tripp even said, “Mom, this may not be such a good idea.”

The ride/show went like this. It’s a round auditorium and you sit down and are locked into your seat by self-lowering shoulder harnesses. Two bumbling teleportation technicians are on big screens announcing that they’re about to show a live teleportation. The technicians are in a hurry and accidentally divert the teleportation signal to an unknown alien planet.

This is where things go from bad to worse.

A huge, scary winged alien appears in the teleportation tube. The technicians panic. Power is lost. The alien breaks out of the teleportation tube. A worker who attempts to restore power is mauled by the alien. All of this is going on in a combination of darkness and flashes of light, in which you can see the alien.

Then it goes completely black.

There’s a spray of fluid directly in our faces. Then our seats begin to rumble and shake as the alien makes its way swiftly through the crowd. Then the alien literally breathes on the back of our necks and drools on us.


My kids are freaking out. I’m seated between them and they’re both about to pull off my arm. They’re screaming and crying, “Mommy, why? Why, Mommy? Why would you bring us on this?” 

This seemed to go on forever, although it was probably just a minute.

Yes, I win the worst mom of the century prize.

(By the way, my husband was with us the whole time. Somehow this was all Mommy’s fault!)

Upon returning home, I was retelling the story to another mom and she started laughing hysterically. She and her husband had made the same mistake upon entering the Magic Kingdom with their three kids.

Needless to say, after that experience, Tripp was too scared to go on his much-anticipated ride on Space Mountain.

Until August,


This article appears in the July 2016 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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