And then the water park opened. It was actually attached to the theme park which was awesome (and free). This was my daughter's first time at a water park. She loved the Lazy River...in fact, I think we spent two hours total just floating and swimming along with the current. It was stormy on and off that day so we were in and out of the water a lot, and we didn't get to ride the huge slides...but at the end of the day, we got a chance to ride one.
Not that one, but I am sure to my little one it looked like that one. It was just she and I standing in line waiting for about 30 minutes. She paced and looked, and then let loose an onslaught of "What ifs..." and "Are you sures." No matter what I said, she was sure she was going to: fall, slide off the edge of a curve, drown, flip, or crash. I was so fascinated because I was watching myself. That was me at her age. And if you read one of my recent posts.....it's still me to some extent.
I watched as her fear grew and fed on itself, despite my most logical arguments ("What would have happened if anyone had ever been hurt on this ride?") and my most sincere fatherly reassurance ("I know you and love you and would never take you on something which would scare or hurt you.")
Of course I gave her plenty of option to get out of line.
She refused every time. That made me proud but also was a great study of faith and human nature to go TOWARD those things that we fear, despite our fear. She trusts me...but needed to vent her anxiety.
How could I convince her that it was going to be fun and not terrifying!? I couldn't. The ride did. I bet her a dollar at the top of the ride that at the end, she would tell me it was a fun ride. As we gently rode the water down to the pool at the bottom, she talked her way through, "This isn't so bad. This is cool! We really are going slower than it looked. It's really not that high." Splash down brought a surprised pleasant squeal...and as we got out of the pool...
"Well Daddy, I guess I owe you a dollar."
I guess that was a reasonable price to pay for that life lesson.