The kids went on their first little roller coaster this past weekend. It was a really fun experience. C$ couldn't wait to get on, and Dub was neutral. Once they walked inside the fenced area for the ride, lil' red freaked out, pushing away and screaming. I snapped her in the seat anyway. We definitely looked like parents of the year. The pic above is just before the ride started. One lap around the track and C$ cracked a smile, two laps, she was all in for the ride! Dub sort of never peeped, and just held on for the ride, bearing his head down.
Post ride, red did not want to get off, and Dub was sort of done. He wasn't scared, but one spin was enough for him. C$ went on two more rides on the coaster. Mostly because we had to go, and had tickets to burn, but she was ear to ear smiles. The shear childish joy on her face was on of the most sweet moments a parent can witness. To see your kid go from freak out tears, to loving the ride was really fun. Jenn and I could not stop laughing and smiling at each other. Our little angel was out there enjoying the heck out of her day, and we loved every second.
The analog is pretty clear to my life. The cliché is "life is a roller coaster." How true. As you age, you inevitably have more to lose, more you care for, more responsibilities outside your own, more people that rely on you. Stepping on and off the roller coaster becomes a much more measured step.
I do not want to lose the ability to step onto the big bad roller coaster, step off the firm ground of comfort and certainty. I want to help other do the same. Whether you take one trip on a new ride, or want to go round and round, my kids taught a valuable lesson. Life will be up and down, and round and round. It is OK to be afraid to get on a new ride, it is OK to get off a ride you don't like. Just make sure as you choose your path, you look down at your feet and know if you have been standing too long.