Braving the Water

I pride myself on my dedication and efforts to be a good mother. However, I’m afraid I let Mr. Carter experience something that he really didn’t like … and I could have stopped it from happening.

Over Labor Day my brother came to town and he brought with him a few gifts, including season passes to Six Flags for the three of us. We went to pick up our passes Labor Day Monday and spent the holiday in the park.

My 4-year-old had never been to Six Flags, and all he cared about was if there was a train on the premises. My brother assured him there was and that is where we spent a majority of the day, riding the train around the park.

It was during our 5th or 6th trip around Six Flags on the train that Mr. Carter noticed a lot of water. There was one place in particular where people slid down a watery slide into a giant splash. He asked what that ride was, and since I couldn’t remember it’s proper name here I explained it was a “log ride” where one rode a boat about a water track and ended up sliding down the big slide.

“I want to go on that,” he said.

My son is a very particular man, and that affects his choices in food, toys, and entertainment. Excited he was willing to be this brave, I accepted his request and led him toward that area of the park. The line was long, and I assumed he’d lose his desire to go on the ride and back out any minute. He watched people on the ride, studying the giant drop most. Noticing people screamed on the way down, he asked that neither of us make a noise on the most harrowing part of the ride. I smiled and agreed, again assuming we’d never have to worry about it.

We got to the stairs that descended to the ride and were asked to enter the giant log. My son darted to sit in the front of the boat and I nervously sat behind him realizing this was going to happen.

I sensed his apprehension when the boat knocked back and forth on the track and assured him it was only to splash water on us and that the whole point of the ride was to get wet. Then the moment of truth, as we made our ascent up the incline before the big drop. As we crowned the top of the hill, I realized this drop might be too intense for a young kid since I think I was seven before I rode something like this. But I kept my promise not to scream, as did Mr. Carter, and he remained silent after the wall of water passed over us.

I asked if he was ok, and after a few seconds, he raised his foot and stomped it hard a few times on the bottom of the boat.

“I … don’t … LIKE … that!”

Despite his vocal disappointment, I spent the rest of the day explaining what true bravery is and that he indeed had been brave to commit to that ride. I also stopped to buy the photo they took of us to commemorate the moment, as my son stared into the abyss and I grit my teeth to avoid a maniacal laugh.