“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
It was hotter then Hades, yet we were determined to carry-on as planned, taking our oldest children on their 1st visit to Cedar Point – the roller coaster capital of the world.
- My husband and I were reminiscent (having not visited in years).
- Our 6-year-old was cautiously excited.
- And our 9-year-old was ready to conquer any ride (even in 100+ degree weather).
The heat of the day was made bearable only by the Lake Erie breeze, while the park itself lay sparsely populated with practically non-existent lines. We hopped on rides quicker then one had time to consider the consequences of their thrills.
About halfway through our visit we arrived upon the “Skyhawk” – a ride that looks initially deceptively un-thrilling.
Most attractions have you meandering through maze-like lines, glimpsing only portions of their excitement along the way – leaving no room for deterioration of courage. However, the queue for the Skyhawk wrapped around its open parameter – forcing us to watch its thrills in increasingly nervous anticipation as the line advanced.
Moving like an enormous pendulum with tiny specs of people attached to it, each SWOOSH of the ride produced a greater wave of panic across my son’s face – his expression quickly becoming less enthusiastic. Simultaneously, my husband’s face began to quickly lose color.
“Uh, uh.” Said my
somewhat panicked husband. “There is NO WAY we are riding this.” He concluded (of course only for the sake of our anxious son).
But my daughter, she wanted to experience the thrill.
“Mom, you’ll do it with me? Right?” She asked.
I’ve realized for some time that my oldest child has a courageous streak, this inner drive (which on occasion also presents itself as stubbornness).
“Of course! Us girls will do it!” I replied, holding back my building fear as I
glanced towards the rest of my fleeing family.
Approaching the ride, my daughter and I took seats side by side, her excited expression not indicating a drop of fear.
We’re off. Specks on the pendulum.
Backward. Forward. SWOOSH.
This is grrr-eeeaaa-
Oh. MY. GOSH.
I suddenly knew for certain that I was going
My heart left on the concrete below – the concrete I had just passed by and was now looking directly down at.
As my life flashed through my eyes, I briefly turned to my daughter whose eyes had filled with tears.
“Mom!” she shouted with more fear and panic then I’ve ever heard her express,
My arm (which, until I saw her, would not have considered leaving its death grip on my own harness) reached securely over her chest. Looking directly into her eyes I said with inexplicable calmness,
“No. YOU. Aren’t.
I’ve got you.
Her fear began to subside. Her courage rebounding.
Our daughter’s 1st trip to Cedar Point, forever engrained in her memory (and also in mine).
(A video of the Skyhawk in action that does a great job of showing how “deceptively un-thrilling” – NOT – it is! – Click here if video doesn’t preview)
This week I am linking up with Bianca at Bits of Bee for her Quotable Bits Link-up.