White knuckles

I must admit I had so much fun writing Friday's post, Time to Let Go. Reading all the link ups for Writing On Edge that day was also a blast. It's amazing how much meaning can fit into 140 characters.

I know I left those who visited hanging because I didn't explain what I was referring to. It was interesting reading what everyone guessed. Many guesses were for a child's first ride on a roller coaster. Since I am a coaster fanatic, that wasn't it. Only one person guessed correctly, and that was CDG from Move Over Mary Poppins.

There were also many guesses that my tweet post was a parenting metaphor. In a way, this was true. Those who guessed that make me want to write a completely different post about letting my children go as they grow, especially with today being their first day back at school (hallelujah!!). Perhaps I'll save that idea for another time.


I don't remember having many fears as a young child. My mom always tells me the story of her and I going to the World's Fair in New Orleans when I was a few years old. My uncle, who happened to be afraid of heights, took me on the monstrous ferris wheel. Me bobbing around checking out all the sights from that height certainly didn't do anything to calm his nerves.

A few years later, this all changed. My mom met my dad and the three of us started doing things as a family. This included going to a local carnival. My dad loved to take me on the ferris wheel. From the carnival at my school, you could see my Grandma's house from the top. If him and I were lucky enough to get stopped at the very top, he would distract me by pointing out my Grandma's house. As I would look to find it, he would start to rock the car we were sitting in. I quickly grew to hate ferris wheels.

Now that I am grown with my own children, I love to take them to carnivals. However, I rarely take them on the ferris wheel unless I absolutely have to. I have had operators ask me if they need to stop the ride because my white knuckles gripping the safety bar match the color of my face.

Last week was the annual carnival at the church by our house. I took the kids up earlier in the week to check out the flea market and play a few games. Later in the week, the husband joined us. The kids wanted to ride the ferris wheel and he knows it's his job to go on that ride with them.

While we were there, we ran into my friend J, her kids, and another friend of theirs. The next 2 hours were spent watching our kids bebop between all the rides and games. Our boys, who are 5 and 6, kept asking to ride the ferris wheel. J feels the same way about that ride as I do, so we did everything we could to distract them. Finally we couldn't take anymore of their begging.

Our girls and another friend they ran into proclaimed they were riding that horrible ride together. J and I decided to let our boys ride with the other friend who was already in our group. He is older than our boys so we knew they would all be fine. It was us who were worried.

We watched our boys stand in line, proudly holding their little red tickets. As I watched them board the ride, I felt my heart jump into my throat. My knuckles turned white around the prizes I was holding as I watched them go up, up, all the way to the top. Our boys peered over the edge to try and find us below. I wanted to scream out "Sit down and hold on!"

Down, down they came and I realized it was time for me to let go.

My son is 6, but he is still the baby. As much as I miss the days when he (and his sister) crawled around the house, I know that I need to let them go and watch them grow.


Oka said...

it is tough to let go

Kmama said...

Eek. I don't know how I'll do when it's time to let my kids ride "big rides" by themselves. My heart was pumping just thinking about it as I read this post.

Shell said...

As much as I whine about mine sometimes, I don't think I actually want to let them go.

Alison@Mama Wants This said...

My son is only 20 months, I can't even imagine letting go, not even a little bit. I dread the time when I have to.