"My little Dare Devil" When I say this, you probably think of the boy child, but it's not! Last night, Cayla, Jeremiah, and I went to our local amusement park for a school-wide event. Now, our kids think Joyland is a lot like Six Flags, but it's not. It's actually like a permanent traveling carnival. And most of the time, our kids want to ride the little boats that go in circles, or the little cars that go in circles, or the little planes that go in circles (you see a pattern here?). Well, last night I almost "tossed my cookies" riding the big rides with Cayla. She couldn't get enough! Jeremiah had met up with some of his friends and was riding rides he normally wouldn't ride. But the peer pressure begins early, and he went with the guys!
Cayla, however, spent most of her time riding with me, running from big ride to big ride, unable to get enough. She rode the big rollercoaster 3 times, the tilt-a-whirl twice, the Octopus, and several other lose your lunch kinda rides. There were some great moments that stood out to me as she and I rode together. Both times included me looking at her with her face in the wind and hair blowing back. She had this look of enraptured delight as she squealed with glee! The one moments that typified the night happened on this ride that we call "The Umbrella Ride." It's a ride that goes in a circle, but the circle is at a 45 degree angle to the ground, so it goes from ground level to about 35 feet in the air. And, although it's going in a circle, it's at a HIGH rate of speed so you feel like you are launching into space with each pass. Imagine a ferris wheel on steroids and leaning severly and you will have a pretty good picture. She was sitting on my right, with her legs extended into space, hair blowing straight back, and her eyes squinting. We were on the downside of the circle when I began to watch her to make sure she was having fun. As we bottomed out and started the upswing, her mouth curled into this elated smile and a squeal came out as she leaned her head back just a little. I'm sure she was imagining flying. I, too, was lost in the moment. But my joy came in seeing my little girl enthralled by the experience. As the ride began to slow, she looked at me and said, "Again!" I told her there were many more rides, and if we had time we would come back As the ride stopped, she looked at the attendant, an older man probably in his mid 60's, and told him, "Thank you." Then she took off running for the next near death experience. As we went back to The Galaxy, the big rollercoaster, she looked at me and said, "Thanks for cancelling your trip to come to Joyland with me." I was supposed to be meeting some friends to talk church planting and spend some time dreaming, planning, and being encouraged. I had actually told the kids we couldn't got to Joyland because I had to be out of town and Caryn had rehearsal. They were upset, but had been gracious to me since we were going to schedule something special later. Circumstances began to pile up on me yesterday morning, though, and my trip had to be cancelled because there was much to do here. Little did I know that Cayla would have such a good time. And I would have never guessed that she would understand enough to be grateful for cancelling the trip.
"My Little Dare Devil" was why my trip needed to be cancelled. And, because of last night, I see her in a different light. Usually the last to try new things, she really surprised me. I learned I have to help her see the upside to the new things, and not just ask her to do them. I can really see her heading into the dark world to make a difference for the Kingdom, hair blowing in the wind, mouth curled in a slight smile, and squealing all the way as she launches into the adventures of life. I also learned that I can slow down and enjoy the ride and not be so ready to rush off to the next thing. Some rides should be enjoyed twice! I'm glad I stayed home.
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