Fear and Coasting
Is that not one of the best exclamations you can make as a parent?
My younger of two had a fantastic breakthrough at the State Fair last weekend. She decided to man up and stop being afraid of riding some of the “bigger” children’s rides. Prior to that event, she wouldn’t go on Ferris wheels, roller coasters, and some of the faster spinny rides. I would ask her when her big sister would go on them if she wanted to as well, and her answer was always no, and I’d leave it at that.
The last “issue” we had with her riding rides was two years ago at the same event. She wanted to go on one of the innocuous slow-spinning rides, but once the ride started the tears started flowing while I helplessly pleaded with her from outside of the fence to “oh please please just don’t try to get out please please…” until it stopped.* I felt bad, but at least I didn’t force her to go on it. Not my policy. For the next two years, she and I both knew her boundaries of what she was afraid to go on and what she was not.**
Then this year’s breakthrough happened. She bravely told me that this year she was ready for the “big kid” rides. When I watched her on the kid’s coaster I could see fear in her eyes, but it was quickly taken over by the look of a child who had conquered her fears, followed finally by exuberant excitement. My kids proceeded to wear me out the rest of the day, going on anything and everything that their respective heights allowed.
I was even invited to go on the kiddie coaster where I watched my 6yo with her hands in the air in front of us and got to put my arm proudly around my 4yo who smiled one of those biggest and beamiest kinds of grins in my direction.
What a proud moment for a dad. She conquered her own fears on her own terms. Now she got to ride the wave.
* Obviously I got my photos and video of this while it was transpiring; that’s my job.
** Yes, pretty much only merry-go-rounds with me holding on to her shirt.