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Monday, October 17, 2011

A Thousand Words

Even if I used a thousand words to make the attempt, I don't think I could fully capture the feeling behind the picture I wish I'd been able to take today:

BB and BJ, side by side in the rollercoaster car in front of me, both of them with their arms in the air.

It was definitely one of those "Mama's Mental Snapshot Moments" (MMSMs are for me the intensified parental equivalent of a kodak moment). Folks who know our family well will probably be aware that BJ has been a rollercoaster fan for quite some time. BB, not so much. So when we headed over to one of our favorite local amusement parks today to meet our friend E, it was interesting to hear the conversation in the minivan between BB and BJ. While I was driving, BB was talking about how she might try the rollercoaster today. BJ was telling her how much fun it is. BB was explaining that she might be able to do it because she would have E there to help her be brave.

And sure enough, E's presence did seem to help BB feel less timid. She climbed all over the enormous "redwood" play structure with E (and BJ) -- something that until today had been too intimidating for her. She even went down the really tall tube slides, first in E's lap and then by herself. So sweet!

Then, surprise: we get to the rollercoaster, and E decides that it's too scary for her. (She's worried that the car trains will fly off of the track. Apparently, this is a longstanding fear for her.) E makes this declaration when we're all getting into line, and so I pause to see if BB still wants to go. A moment's hesitation, but then she says she does.

She and I ride together with BJ in the car ahead of us. BJ is delighted. BB is nervous and wants my arm around her. She's clearly tense as the ride begins, but a few moments later, she's giggling and then laughing! Then we're getting off the ride, and she's telling E, "That was FUN!"

So then E decides to give it a whirl. Her grandma (who was with us for the day as E's chaperone) wasn't really wanting to ride it, and E wanted to go with a grown-up, so I asked BB if she would be OK riding with her brother. A moment's hesitation, but then she says, "Sure!"

And that's when the "MMSM" happened. I was sitting behind BB and BJ, with my arm around their friend E to reassure her. There they were, my own two children in front of me, thrilled and brave.

There's a poem in there. It has been quite a while since I heard the knocking of the muse so clearly on that particular door. It will be interesting to see if I'm able to answer in time to write something worthwhile, a thousand words of it or not. For now, I'm cherishing the image in my mind.

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