Friday, December 3, 2010

Nerves of Steel

More fun memories were made in this little Shamu Express roller-coaster.  The only short coaster line these girls waited in was due to their desire to sit in the very front.  Although blurry, their smiles made it worth the wait.  It's so nice when kids can practically ride back to back when there are no lines.  Truly the best time of year to vacation.

I've always enjoyed roller coasters.  Loved. them.  Well, not the sideways-spinny-kind.  Those just make me sick.  Although, something changed for me when I had kids.  Less time to ride them, and frankly, I suppose I value my life a bit more with little ones to think of.

Hubs has never been a coaster kind of guy.  So, I figured out of the 2 girls, I might have one riding partner in the future, right?   Since our last visit to Sea World, Nator has been telling me that she intends to ride one of the larger coasters with me. 

The time came.

She changed her mind.

It's okay.  Really.  It's not for everyone.

Gracie to the rescue.  It seems the Shamu coaster lifted her self-esteem and gave an adrenaline rush that may have baffled her own thinking.  She wanted to try the 'Steel Eel' that we've all talked about.

Gracie was so proud of her 'big-girl' decision to try a 'big-girl' coaster.  Dad and Nator waited at the exit.  Hubs told me that I should prepare myself for her reaction. 

How bad could it be, right?  This coaster only goes up and down.  No surprise twists or upside-down tricks up it's sleeve.

But it's been a few years since I've ridden it.

I forgot about the Steel Eel's speed and height.  One can see the entire park from the top of her highest points.

As we buckled, she began to nervously tear up.   The sweet kids behind us reassured her. 

As we inched toward the top, I encouraged her to look around at how pretty the park was.  She smiled.  For a few seconds, the beauty of it all was a welcome distraction.  I began to wonder when the 'inching up' would ever stop. 

Then... the clicking stopped.  There was a pause.  Chills.  Then...  a complete free-fallin' feelin'.  And fast.

Screaming with tears, she protested and announced that she "waaaanted ooooooff!"  I didn't blame her.   If I could have stopped it for her, I would have... in a heartbeat.

After every dip, I tried my best to reassure her.  "It's almost over.  You're doing so great!"

For the sake of my girl, I hoped that it finished as quickly as I remembered.

When we finally rounded our last quick dip, immediate relief was felt by Gracie and my poor mama heart.

I imagine feeling this way again if they experience the roller-coaster called childbirth.

She wiped her last tear and high-fives were given.  She made me proud... and I told her so.

Although I can't say Gracie will ever ride the Steel Eel again, she was proud of herself, too.  It almost made it worth it.  

She is still beaming with pride of her accomplishment.

We also bought the picture.  You know... the ever flattering picture they take of you screaming.  Mouth open.  Hair flying.  Honestly, I would rather not have a permanent memo of the terrified expression on my baby girl's face... but she wanted it. 

It's hers to keep.  And she's proud of it.

{Nator's commentary and expressions crack me up.  Had to share.  My favorite part is when she says, "Good luck. Good luck to my mom and my sister.  Lord, don't let 'em go away."} 

And if you like roller-coasters, as I do, this is really a fun one.  Partnered with someone who loves coasters equally, of course.  ;)  

I'm still holding out hope that I will have a riding buddy between these two one day.

One day.


  1. I am loosing my nerves the older I get!! ha ha ... the older... the wiser... the more stories you here... my feet meet the ground more than the rides! ha ha! It is in my favor that my kids hate rides... so we have never been!~ maybe ... one day... when they are 15 and 17... lol!

    What a BRAVE little girl!! Please tell her this mommy is impressed too! =)

  2. You'll never catch me on one of those!! WOW!! I would've died after the first hill. I almost puke on the hills INSIDE Splash Mountain at Disney World. :) So the outside hill, I'm praying to God that I don't die afterwards. Ha!

  3. Great post! Definitely made me smile!

  4. Beautiful park! I was convinced if we could just get our daughter on a coaster, she would love it and the fear would such luck! Oh well, Cody and I just take turns while the other one rides on a kiddie ride with the three chickens...I mean kids! :)
    What a brave little girl! Hopefully she'll just remember the fun and try it again!

  5. That park looks like a LOT of fun!!

    So sorry the coaster wasn't what she had hoped it would be. :(

    I totally love how animated Nator is when she speaks!!!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Gracie, I do know why you feel. My legs are still shaking. I am proud of you for riding, it is an experience. Love Nator's narration of the event. Some great memories for y'all. Love you guys and looking forward to spending some time with y'all.
    Love Aunt D

  7. I am so proud of Gracie, UB may be able to convinve her to ride with him. since DK and AD and Hmama won't ride with him.

  8. Awww. Bless her heart. But that's the first step to enjoying those controlled scares. lol. In the meantime, I LOVE to ride. My hubby does not. We should so get together for a day of adrenaline rush. :) Blessings, SusanD

  9. I am not a roller coaster fan so I understand her anxiety!

    Also, I just cannot get over your weather. Your sky does not look like our wintery gray sky, that's for sure!

  10. just the glimpse of that dumb rollercoaster makes me want to do my own ugly cry at the moment. hated it! and took D-Man on it for his first time. you know that first drop? yep, totally thought I was going to die and my son too. it was a good thing we didn't buy the photo because it was of me leaning into him comforting him and he has the most horrid look on his face. should have had the title of "bad mama swears to never give in again"! love sea world but you can tear that steel eel down and I wouldn't mind! (Looks like a wonderful trip)


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