Kids have a way of pushing us out of our comfort zones. I found this to be especially true this weekend while on my first visit to an amusement park with my daughter Zoey.  Amusement parks generally aren’t my thing, but summer is halfway over and I felt like we were running short on fun. So when we got a last minute invitation to go to Lake Compounce, I figured we could give it a go.

When we got to the park, I realized quickly that this *might* not have been the best idea.  My daughter is not exactly what you would call brave. At. All.  This is the kid who won’t walk to the bathroom in the hallway of our house by herself, even with every light on in the house. (Too scary. True story.)  At the park, every ride that I suggested we try was met with a “No!”  I was trying to be brave myself and tell her that if she went on the rides, I would go with her.  As I was telling her this, every fiber of my being was screaming “NOOOOO!” I’m not exactly afraid of heights, just deathly afraid of falling from said heights. But as I said, kids push you out of your comfort zone.  I would have braved the roller coaster for her because I wanted to make sure she was having fun. I finally convinced her to go on the bumper cars.  She laughed her head off the whole time.  That opened the door to the Carousel.  That was also fun.  We took it slow like that until it was time for lunch.  We got in line for the trolley to the picnic area.  Just when I thought we were making progress, she asks me, “Does this ride go up and down?”  No, honey, it’s just a slow train ride.

After lunch we hit the kiddie rides.  Eventually my daughter and her friend worked their way up to the little roller coaster.  She gave me one terrified look back, but got on the roller coaster anyway.  She even threw her hands in the air for a quick second.

Photo: K. Stevenson

Photo: K. Stevenson

From then on, it clicked.  She figured out that even though this stuff was scary, it was also really fun.  The best part about the kiddie rides was that they were too small for adults to ride on.  Yes! I was safe.  Until the end of the day when, hot and sweaty, the kids wanted to go on a water ride to cool off.  So off to the log flume we went.  At this point, I’m starting to get a little nervous but I know I have to put my money where my mouth is and go through with the ride.  We got in line and my daughter’s resolve started to weaken the longer we waited.  I kept reassuring her that the ride was going to be fun and the drop was no worse than any of the other rides she’d already been on.  Now of course, I didn’t know any of this for sure.  I had never been on a log flume in my life!  For good reason–those things are freaking scary and you can die.  (Right?) But there was no backing out now.  We got on that death trap log and held on tight. When it was over, after we pried our hands off the rails, opened our eyes and stopped screaming, Zoey and I high-fived each other.  We did it.  I was so proud of her and her day full of adventure.  She really overcame a lot of her fears and had a ton of fun.  I was proud of myself too. I showed my daughter that sometimes you have to take a risk so that you can have a great experience.

Photo: K. Stevenson

Photo: K. Stevenson

At the end of the day, as she was relaxing in the tub, she said “That log ride was scary, but also EPIC!”  Well said, Zoey.  Well said. Thanks for pushing me out of my comfort zone. I’m sure it won’t be the last time.  I would do anything for you.  Except go on that Bolder Dash ride.  I have to draw the line somewhere.

 

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