Yesterday was a great day. As a family, we spent the day at Six Flags. Although it was a bit cold at first (and again toward the evening), we all had a wonderful time just being together as a family.

I’m so proud of Emily, as she rode her first “grown-up” roller coasters. First, the Runaway Mine Train with her Daddy, then I dragged her on the Shockwave with me! She was nervous because of the double loop, but she was brave, and got on with out a bit of a fuss. After the loops, halfway through the ride she screamed that she wanted off – she wanted it to stop, NOW!

After the ride, when we rejoined Brent and the boys, she informed Daddy that she DID NOT like that. However, by the time we left the park, she had decided that she now has bragging rights that, as a six-year-old, she rode the Shockwave! But she still wasn’t sure that she wanted to do it again. Now this morning, I’m happy to say, she has finally admitted that it was fun and she’d like to do it again, but with Daddy this time 🙂

So, the lessons I take from yesterday:

1. I already knew this, but it’s good to reinforce both to myself and others – Children love TIME with their parents. And it’s good for parents to spend this time with their children. So many times we get so caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to have fun with our kids. They love it when Mom and Dad act like kids themselves and just play. And it doesn’t even have to be something as big as Six Flags. It can just be pushing cars around on the floor, or an impromptu race to the mailbox. The key is time, fun, and lots of it, and when we remember to do these things often, it makes those times of necessary discipline not seem so terrible. Because 95% of the time, we’re playing together.

2. Sometimes it’s good to push your kids to do things they don’t want to do. As a nurturer, I’m often reluctant to do this, but Emily’s experience on the Shockwave reminds me that sometimes we have to look the fear of the unknown square in the face before we realize that there is really nothing to be afraid of. Kind of reminds me how God often shoves us out of our comfort zone, and we end up realizing that the new “zone” is way better than where we were before. In fact, even though the transition was exciting and scary all at once, we wouldn’t go back for the world.