Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Even Daredevils Get Scared

Z is a daredevil.  That kid makes my heart race like nothing ever before.  He will climb, jump and explore anything that he physically can.

I'm the mom that gets stares at the park because, "Should he be climbing that?"  "Yes."

Scaling the uber slide

If he can reach it, he will climb it.
He'd attempt this before he could do it.

I let him push boundaries, safely of course.  He won't learn if he doesn't try.

It makes me happy that he's so daring, because I really wasn't as a kid.  He has taught me so many things, and being fearless is one of them.  It's not that he isn't a bit afraid or weary to try, but he will try anyways.

"Courage is not the absence of fear.  It's acting in spite of it." 
Mark Twain

So yesterday, we got a huge surprise.

We went to the Pecan Street Festival, and were having a blast people watching, snacking on fair food, and enjoying all the handmade crafts, gorgeous art, and unique vendors.  We found an Angry Birds hat.  Great music.  We even found his uncle!

Then we spied a tiny carnival just for kids.  A little ferris wheel, bouncy houses and slides, a giant slingshot and itty bitty carousel.  Score!

Z saw the huge ferris wheel from a mile away.  He smiled, his eyes gleamed and he yelled, "I want to ride that!"  The best part was, that he was big enough that he could.  We waited for tickets and as soon as we approached the ride, they took a break.  He was bummed, but the huge bouncy slide next door called his name.  The anticipation mounted as we peeked over to see if it was about to open up.  

Finally, it opened back up, and we raced over to the line.  He eagerly got into the tiny cage with another boy and we sat on the sideline waving and smiling.  I had my camara ready sure I would capture some huge smiles and waves.  

He got one full circle, with a huge smile the whole way.  I could see that he was soaking in this new experience, so happy he was there, and so curious, and so high up.  Then the ride stopped with him at the top.  Immediately, his face went from happy to unsure.  Very very unsure.  The guy running the ride had to get four more kids in the other cars then he would start again.  

Z looked at me and Dad to see if he was okay.  I could sense that he wanted out, but didn't want to freak him out.  I felt his nervous energy, and it was highly unusual for my little Danger Boy.  

The other kid was way rowdy, and bouncing the cart all over, and smiling and banging on the wall.  Z looked at him as seriously as he could and said, "Sit down."  The kid could sense he was nervous, so he sat down, but continued to yell.  (Thank you, kid.)  Z just looked at me.  I waved and smiled with a look like "you're okay".

Z stood up and walked to the door, and said, "I want out."  I replied, "It's okay.  Sit down, please.  The ride is about to start, he just has to get these kids in.  Okay?"  Again, the look of confidence, as best I could muster.  He trusted me, and sat down.  I could see it in his face he didn't want to.  

If he was seriously scared, or freaking out I would have done something, but he was learning his boundaries, and what he can handle.  The big thing is that he trusted us.  And he gave it a chance.

If the ride had just moved he would have been fine, but he was stuck at the top, for a little over a minute, with a rowdy kid, swinging, and trapped.  It broke my heart.  I very rarely see my boy scared.  I want to always be able to comfort him when he needs it, and gladly I was able to as much as possible.

The ride started again.  He was better, but not as happy as he had hoped he would be.  He barely waved.  I didn't want to force a smile from him, ignore his feelings, and pretend he was just fine, because it wasn't to him.  I did want him to know I thought he was okay.

And he was.

It was also sad to see my happy boy so forlorn.  He was so excited, then so quickly disappointed.

The ride stopped, and he stood up immediately.  He got out, and did not want to ride it again, as I thought he would before.  He didn't want to talk about it, but said something about not liking to be stuck at the top.  I said I understood, and smiled.  

On the way out of the carnival area, I saw a mom struggling with a few kids and handed her the rest of our tickets.  Hopefully they would have more fun on it than us.

Ever have an experience like that with your kid?

Did they demand escape or make it through?

How did you handle it?

It's so sad.


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