Tell me the truth: Do ferris wheels terrify you?
Ferris wheels terrify me. But I go on every year, just to prove to the fainter-hearts among my children that there’s nothing to be afraid of. I’m not sure how good a job I’m doing. For instance, last night, I rode with Tommy. He’s quite small, you know, small enough to slip right under that feeble restraint if the car should rock suddenly or the breeze catch him unaware, or even if he maybe sneezed. So I put my hand on his leg. Those seats are slippery, you know.
We rode slowly to the top as they loaded the other cars. “Look how small those people look!” I said. He leaned over the bar and giggled. “They’re so tiny, Mommy!” he squealed. The car rocked a little as leaned forward. “Okay, now,” I said, “sit back.”
And then we were going in earnest, just flying over the top, so that you get that falling feeling in the pit of your stomach. Tommy was thrilled, squealing and giggling every time we came over, and I couldn’t help laughing at him, but I noticed I was squeezing his leg a little too tightly, and I had a death grip on the bar. Okay. Relax and don’t squeeze. Davey kept waving at me from the ground. Like I was going to let go and wave back, right?
Tommy was leaning into the free-fall every time, tipping the car forward, in mortal danger of slipping out. “I feel like I’m falling, Mommy!” he shouted.
“Well, then, lean back,” I encouraged. No dice.
“I’m flying, Mommy!” He leaned forward with his arms out, biggest grin I’ve ever seen on that little face. Relax and don’t squeeze. Relax and don’t squeeze.
And then, the ride was over. Tommy hopped off, bouncing, spinning, a bundle of joyful energy. Me, I was glad to have my feet back on solid ground.
Yup, ferris wheels terrify me. But I’ll still go on again next year.