I’d agreed to wait in line for the ride, but not to go on it. I was pretty sure I did not want to go on it, since rides are not my thing. At all. “Ax,” I said, “you know how in your cartoons right when someone is going to go rescue someone or do something courageous they kind of puff up and make this grand kinda, ‘I’m going for it!’ bold statement before diving right in?”
“Well in real life courage sometimes is like that but sometimes it’s like, ‘eeee, I don’t know about this. I’m pretty scared, but I think I’m gonna try it anyway,’ and then sort of slowly doing it, not all jumping in style.”
“So, I don’t want you to think I’m not brave if I don’t go with you today. It just might not be right for me to do, but you and dad can do it.”
“Sometimes bravery is not doing the thing everyone wants you to do, if that’s not the right thing for you.”
“Yeah, I know.”
And so the line inched forward and I continued to debate going on the roller coaster with my husband and my son, continued to debate what the right thing to do in the moment was, what the right thing to model was.
Would I actually puke on the ride? Or would it ruin my day? Would it be a fabulous story for the three of us to share, overcoming fear to do a ride that, as Mike had to point out, had been conquered by millions before us?
“Just so you know,” Mike said to me, “I have no investment in you doing this with us. Whatever you want to do is fine.”
“I just don’t know,” I said. “I know that I’ve hated every roller coaster I’ve ever been on, but I’ve never been on one with you or with Ax, and I also have some new breathing and mental control techniques since last time I rode.”
“That’s true,” he said.
We got to the front of the line. I got on the ride with my men. I screamed the entire time, loudly. And then we went to the carousel, It’s a Small World, Dumbo, and like that.
I’m gonna keep going.