I’ve never liked rides that require me to take my feet off the ground. An unrealistic fear of falling or of the ride falling or of everything falling. Roller coasters ridden with eyes closed and tilt-a-whirls bypassed and gravitrons at which I won’t look twice.
Several times, since Avery was born, Holly and I have taken him–and then them, once Aurora was born–to fairgrounds. And I’ve had to overcome my irrational–of course I know my fear is irrational–fears, especially when Avery wants my company. Slides that begin 100 feet up, and roller coasters in the shapes of dragons, and other rides that I’d never choose to ride, if given a choice.
But you can’t close eyes when you’re holding a four-year-old and making sure he isn’t scared. Or that he doesn’t fall out. Or that he isn’t crying. Or that he isn’t on his way to getting dizzy or even sick. You scream and make the noises you make when you’re on a ride.
And I thought, yesterday, at a fair in a nearby town, that going on rides that I don’t want to ride is being a parent. No one says that you’ll have to go on rides you don’t want to go on, but you do, once you’re a parent. And no one says that you have to pretend to be brave, or that you have to occasionally be OK taking your feet off the ground.