“Who says I have no faith in humanity?” I asked myself as I hung upside down 60 feet in the air. The Vertigo. After waiting for an hour for the privilege of feeling my lunch revisit my throat, here I was, relying on the teenager running the operation to make sure all was safe. It occurred to me that I was also putting my life as well as the lives of my children in the hands of an engineer. I hoped he or she was a good one.
Yes, people, we went to La Ronde, Montreal’s amusement park. Erected in 1967, they still have some of the original rides from that time (inspires confidence n’est-ce-pas?) My daughter had won two tickets at the end of the school year and, in a strategic move to see her friend during the summer, gave one to her. This meant that we had another kid with us, a fearless, cocky little soul with a bit of an attitude à la française.
Watching my children, try to keep up with said hellion, it occurred to me that an amusement park is a good place to show how to set boundaries and/or conquer fears. My youngest daughter, who could not go on all the rides that the two older chidlren could go on, developed a fear of Splash just as we were getting on. I think it was the fifteen meter drop that was making her antsy. So here I was, in a fakeboat with a terrorised kid. What did I do? Like any good mother I said, “It’s okay. Really. It’s going to be fun!” And held her hand.
The we went over the waterfall, got soaked and the tears in her eyes turned to laughter. She then waited on the bridge for the next boat to go by so that she could get soaked all over again. One point for inadvertent fear conquering. Take one point away for good parenting. Why? Because I am not sure I want my child to conquer the fear of going over a fifteen meter waterfall. That seems like a resonable fear to me.
Just like my other daughter on the vertigo. Right at the moment where we were being buckled in, she looked over at me and said, “I’m scared.” Then she said,”This seatbelt is too tight.” The last thing I said to her before we were swung up in the air was,”You’re going to be thankful for that.” Now, contrary to youngest daughter, the oldest daughter did not cry while on the ride. No, She got off the ride, walked a few steps, and then burst into tears. This would be a case of aposteriori fear and now I hope she will know her boundaries. It was her friend’s idea to go on the ride. I hope she knows now that she doesn’t have to if she doesn’t want to.
Another thing I learned: my reaction to rides that scare the hell out of me is to laugh hysterically. Death, I laugh in your face! And then I am going to pee my pants. That’ll show you…