A couple of weeks ago, the fair came to town. This is a smaller version of the big fair that comes around in the Fall. However, my wife and I have not missed either version for the past 7 years. My son is now 3 years old and he has gone to each instance of this fair throughout his entire life. Watching him take more and more of the Fair in each visit is a wonder in itself. Every time we go, he experiences it more fully and enjoys more and more of it.
Last fall, his highlight was the farm animals and the petting zoo. So, this year we thought it would be a quick trip and just hit some barns and get the required ‘fair food’ and go home happy. Then we turned the corner and saw……the RIDES. My son immediately wanted to check it out as my wife and I exchanged the ‘oh no, is he tall enough?’ look.
Well, we get up to the roller coaster and see the measure line. From 6 feet away I could tell that he wasn’t tall enough, but man was he excited. He kept asking if he could do the ‘rorer coaster‘. So, I explained to him that he needed to be tall enough and showed him the black line that marked how tall he needed to be. Looking up at me with his big brown eyes, he says ‘Dada, can we measure?’ Of course we can…so up we walk and….
HE WAS TALL ENOUGH. What?!?! There was no way he was tall enough until we got right up to the measure stick and sure enough, he was good to go. So, after forking over a small fortune, I bought a series of ride tickets and off we went.
So, where’s the wish, you say? Well, 14 years ago, I met my wife and we started dating and I bought tickets to an amusement park for us to go to when she dropped the closest thing to a deal breaker in our relationship on me….she didn’t like RIDES. WHAT?!?! How could we be compatible…how could this happen? Well, it did and we persevered. Obviously.
So, by and large, after 19 years of being a thrill seeker, I went into a roller coaster hibernation. Now my son, wide-eyed and excited, was asking his daddy if we could ride the ‘rorer coaster‘.
So, here we go…we strap in…Mom’s armed on the sidelines with a camera (which didn’t do much good because he was ‘just’ tall enough and could not be seen behind his behemoth of a father) and AWAY WE GO!
When we go around the corner and up the track, he’s smiling and giggling…when we go down for the first time, he loses….his….MIND! I’ve not seen the kid smile so broadly, it was like a whole new world had been opened up.
Watching him have so much fun, reminded me how much fun these rides could be. Furthermore, he reminded me what FUN really is. It’s different for everyone, but for me, in that moment, it was able to show him a new experience and remember all the fun I’ve had in those situations.
Before the ride was over, there were a few times when he would just look up at me and smile. In that smile, I could see him ‘thanking’ me for showing him this amazing experience of the ‘rorer coaster‘.
Sometimes, it takes a moment like that to remember. And remembering his a good way to examine your perspective. For me, personally, it has been a trying few months. And all of that melted away with my baby boy’s simple smile.