Rebecca's Ponderings

November 28, 2009

Rollercoasters of Motherhood

Filed under: Parenting — Rebecca @ 7:20 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Bud is my sensitive child; he always has been. He is the one who cries during movies. When he’s sick, he wants to cuddle on the couch with Momma. He holds his ears during fireworks and is scared of being alone. His moods swing wider than mine.

He is also very literal and very serious. I am constantly amazed by the things he ponders and the questions he asks. He believes what he is told and has the confident, child-like faith that Christ encouraged. However, he can also be very gullible at times.

Part of it is his age, but it is more than that. He just sees the world differently. God has given Bud a tender heart and an extra measure of faith. I do not understand what God’s plan for Bud is. I only know that in training this little man, I must not cause his heart to become callous. I also must help him to develop discernment without sacrificing his faith.

That brings me to this week’s dilemma. We made a trip to Disney World. It was our first family vacation and the kids’ first visit to Disney. Some relatives from another state were joining us so the excitement was high. In addition, Bud had been praying daily for four months that he would grow an inch so he could “ride the rides at Disney World.”

Epcot was the first park on our itinerary. Like most boys, Bud loves racecars. So, we headed for Test Track. He was a little nervous but very excited about riding a fast ride. At the entrance we confirmed that God had answered Bud’s prayers, once again. He was just tall enough.

As we skidded and bumped through the first part of the ride, Bud was a little scared but remained calm. Then, he saw the sign for the crash test. The car started racing for a wall which, I knew from experience, would open. Unfortunately, he did not have that experience. He screamed a terrified, “Noooooo!!!!!” Immediately, I put my hand on his chest and tried to reassure him that it was only pretend. The ride was not real but he believed it was. His fear was completely real.

He calmed a bit as we progressed through the remainder of the ride. Bud was not crying or hysterical at any point. As we exited, he said he did not like Test Track; it was scary. Two hours later, he was asking to ride it again.

As I pondered the events of the day, I began to question whether I had done the right thing. Perhaps my five-year-old was not ready. Had I let my love for rollercoasters and my desire to share that joy with my children override my parental judgement? Had I put him in distress or, even worse, caused him to become a little numb? Or, maybe I was just tired and vulnerable to “mommy guilt.” How can he learn these lessons without experiencing them? Where better to learn that not everything is as it seems than a ride at Disney World?

Two days later, we were at the Magic Kingdom. Bud wanted to ride Thunder Mountain and we let him. My fears had eased a bit with rest. We did a little more coaching beforehand, reminding him that it was just pretend. To my relief and total joy, he absolutely loved it! He was raising his hands in the air and hollering, “Yeah!” throughout the ride. Afterward, he exclaimed, “That was AWESOME!” and my heart laughed with gratitude for the privilege of sharing in those moments with my son.

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