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Kristen

The Summer of Can

Posted by Kristen on August 23, 2010 at 7:05 AM in Raising Boys
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K: Are you frightened?
Ethan: Mom. I'm tall enough now. I'm not frightened.
K: I hate to be a downer, but you do know that the height requirement for rides has nothing to do with your level of fear, right?
Ethan: Mom. I'm TALL ENOUGH.
K: I'm just saying that if you don't want to do it, it would be totally fine.
Ethan: Mom, Harrison says that roller coasters are SO fun and that I would LOVE them.
K: Well, Harrison is an aficionado of rides so I guess that makes sense.
Ethan: Can I go on that boat?
K: Only if your father will go with you. That's the throw up boat.
Derek: Sorry, buddy. It's not happening.
Ethan: But it's a pirate boat.
K: Look at all those good parents on that throw up boat with their kids.
Ethan: Then we can go?
K: Absolutely not.
Derek: Absolutely not.

He pointed to the log flume. I sighed. Along with not wanting my food to touch on my plate unless it is a designated touching food such as a casserole, I have this thing about getting wet on rides. Okay, I have this thing about getting my hair wet any place outside of a shower or pool. It's not logical but it is what it is. If you saw my hair, you would really, really understand how illogical it is. My husband piped in with a "Mom would LOVE to go with you boys."

"Love" is a very strong word and frankly, I think we throw it around too much. But I guess it would be love to go on the log flume with your children. I looked quizzically at Nate. He nodded. Et tu, Brute? He looked me right in the eyes, nodded his head again and said, "I not sca'd, Mom."

I used to be the queen of the roller coaster. Ain't no mountain high enough. I remember going to a nearly deserted park with friends and running from the exit of the coaster to the entrance of the coaster so that we could have a nearly continuous ride. I was able to maintain a level of nausea near vomiting for 8 ride cycles before I called it quits. It was one of my all-time best days ever.

But now I'm old. My body doesn't appreciate such abuse and the nausea reminds me of morning sickness. I spent an inordinate amount of time in a torts class in law school determining liability when the giant swing lost a chair into the crowd. It's as if becoming a parent has driven me to check for that state safety sticker on every single carnival ride before I hand over my precious babies and those really, really expensive tickets.

We got off the log flume and it was as if my baby Ethan was gone forever. He was only limited by the number of tickets in his pocket. Roller coasters, swings, you name it. He was fearless. The crazier the ride, the more empowered he became. My head told me that I just didn't want him to do more than he could handle and end up being scared. My heart told me that I just wasn't ready for my boy to grow up.

Ethan: I CAN do it, Mom.

He was right. He really can. And he did.

Victory photo by Derek. FYI, there is also a complete montage of me mouthing "You" "Are" "Dead" "To" "Me" "Now" to him as we went up the steep hill before the log flume soaking. This didn't seem an appropriate place or time to share those pictures.

1 Comments

Becky writes...

I know exactly this moment in time. My youngest has spent the last 2 summers saying "am I tall enough". This summer, at the county fair - he was tall enough for just about everything. I just held my breath. Like you, I too could handle the roughest, wildest of rides over and over. Now I get dizzy just watching them. Funny story - bumper cars. My one was still a smidge under where he could drive the car alone. But his twin brother was just right. So one was allowed to drive while the other not. So they let them ride together. But on the 2nd time on the ride, I noticed one child missing. I had a moment of panic....then realized, that one brother had used the other brother to GET on the ride but proceeded to get in his own car...driving alone! No one said a word to him. Though he could barely reach the peddle and you could just see his hair sticking up over the steering wheel, it was his proudest moment of all. He had out smarted me and the man running the ride. I acted (truly pretending)all scared and flustered when he got off (which he loved and made what he did even more sinful). After that, they rode the bumper cars about 20 times - driving alone. I just had to laugh. Your posting just made me remember that...I better write it down in his babybook for sure!

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