You know when you get to the point where you think you know your kids really, really well?
So well that you can almost anticipate what their responses will be like to certain situations?
The type of knowing where you can almost complete the thought that is running through her little head (maybe even before she does)?
That’s when kids usually throw you a giant curve ball and you realize you don’t know them nearly as well as you had thought.
Case in point –
Location: Local carnival over Memorial Day weekend. More specifically, the line for the Ferris Wheel at the carnival.
Previous experience on ride: None. Not fond of heights.
Experience of family members: Tradition that Zoe and I ride it. Best view of town ever.
Carnival back story: I am sure it is run by well-trained, responsible individuals with impeccable safety records and standards….appearances would say that it is held together by spit and gum and run by some guys that smoke something on those little “breaks” that happen fairly frequently.
Feelings leading up to standing in line: “I think I can do it, Mom,” voice cracking.
Back up plan: Family friend with child of same age willing to hang out with her while Zoe and I ride.
What happened: She worked up enough courage to get in line at first, but that faded. We tried talking it out, but when pushed by her to give my opinion on what she should do I turned to what I thought I knew about her and advised against riding it. We went with the back up plan and had her go sit with my friend who was waiting for her daughter to get off the ride.
Ten minutes later, Madeline changes her mind.
Thankfully, people were kind enough to let her jump back in line with us. We spent the next 20 minutes (long line and questionable workers running it) talking about how fast it would turn and how it would stop and why it says “DO NOT ROCK SEATS” and how high it really is and…well…you get the picture. Non-stop chatter from someone who is a little nervous.
When it was our turn to finally get into the seats, I was waiting for the death grip to happen on my arm nearest Madeline or for the tears to start.
“It’s coming,” I thought. “I know it’s coming…”
Instead, it was all smiles.
Granted all three of us yelped when Zoe leaned forward to point something out and the seat rocked a bit, but that was something anyone would do.
The view from the top was amazing as always, but with both girls with me it was even sweeter this year.
I was so proud of Madeline for taking that big step and letting go of her fears. I think she enjoyed herself on the ride and liked seeing the town we love from another vantage point.
I could learn a thing or two from her bravery, that’s for sure.
The first being that she’s getting to the point where I don’t know what is going on in her head very well.
Given what I have heard about teenagers, I don’t know that I will ever figure it out again. Frankly, that’s scarier than any ride run by the guys at the carnival.