This was a BIG day for Lil’ J. This little girl is my cautious one. After she got scared on the Peter Pan ride at Disney World right out the gate we changed most of our plans to avoid any semi-thrilling rides.
Our little family went to Sea World and Aquatica in San Antonio, and like I suspected, she didn’t want to go down the water slides with her brother. She preferred the low key merry-go-rounds and shows. They were safe. Predictable. It’s not easy to overcome fears.
I’ve always noticed she’s had a huge imagination. And I think her heightened sense of awareness makes her extra cautious. Though she claims she’s only afraid of volcanos, and singing volcanos, I happen to keep track of things she’s really afraid of.
She hates being alone, in the dark, and rides. When her little brother saw this kid roller coaster (thinking it was a choo choo) he pulled us to it, asking to go on.
He needed to be 38 inches to meet the height requirement and I just knew he was going to fall short, then cry as we’d drag him away. But thanks to his Crocs and afro he had a couple extra inches and was barely able to make it. Lil’ J said she wanted to ride too.
I thought for sure she’d want to turn around or change her mind before we got going, or that she’d cry halfway through. I’ve been through this before. It was bound to happen. But I didn’t push her. I just encouraged her as long as that’s what she wanted to do.
I sat next to her and my husband sat next to our son. On the way up Lil’ J started to panic a little and I braced myself for the water works. But once we started going back down she started giggling. After the first lap around the short track she even put her hands up. My heart swelled with pride, and over all of the screaming around us I yelled and told her her how proud I was.
She faced her fears and knocked them out of the park.
We went on at least 6 more times.
When we stepped off the ride and I saw the image of her reaction on the TV screens above and I knew I had to buy it, no matter the cost. Ok… Well, I probably had a limit, but I was happy to spend $15 on the cheesy park picture because it captured this big moment for me. The moment my little girl finally let go of her fears, and found joy in a new adventure.
I left my camera at home (I rarely do this) and just captured a few moments with my phone and watched the rest through my own eyes instead of behind a lens. Don’t get me wrong. I missed my camera and some cute moments. I couldn’t have frozen a single moment in one frame that would have topped this video.
We still have other fears to work on. Like sleeping in her room alone. But this was a big step, and it’s definitely making the “best of 2015” cut under “conquered fears.”