Monday, March 21, 2011

...Enjoy your ride on Thunder Road!

Today I got an email from a friend looking for some perspective on a lesson she was teaching.  She asked a fairly simple question...

"In one sentence, how would you describe parenting a toddler?"

Of course, my answer didn't just come in one sentence.  But, I concluded with a phrase I'd seen over and over growing up after dozens upon dozens of visits to Carowinds...

What a great ride!

"Grit your teeth.  Bear the load.  Enjoy your ride on Thunder Road!"

Do you see those little white signs?  They actually have the 'Grit your teeth...'  quote on them.
It's my favorite part of the whole ride!

Thing is, I don't think just parenting a toddler is like riding a roller coaster.  I think parenting in general IS a roller coaster!

The first year of parenthood is like the very beginning of the ride, when the coaster is cranking you all the way up to the top of that first, and largest hill.  When you first get on you're scared and excited.  As you start to climb the hill, you begin to wonder why you got on the ride to begin with.  It feels like it's taking forever to get to the top.  You look back to the people in line and think, "What are you doing?!  Don't get on this roller coaster, you crazy people!!"  But then, right before you reach the top you start to get a little bit comfy, maybe you even put both of your hands up.  You're feeling free, like everything's finally going to be ok.

Then you crest the hill and you see all that lies in front of you...the rest of parenthood.  Extreme highs and lots of lows.  The ride is going to be bumpy, you never know what's going to be around the next turn, and sometimes something will throw you for a loop.

You'll go through a whole range of emotions.  Sometimes you'll be so scared that you're gripping the bar in front of you, grinding your teeth, and praying to God for the ride to be over.  Other times it'll take your breath and you'll be smiling and squealing for joy.  And, you might even throw those hands up again - both in praise to God for the blessing of children and out of frustration because you just want to give up.  

The highs for me are AWESOME - Giggles, laughs, milestones, etc.  And the lows are pretty scary sometimes.  Discipline, punishment, frustration, and worries (especially with Jackson's speech).  

But the cool thing is, just like on a roller coaster, you have to go through the lows to get back to the next high point.  If all you did was stay on the top of the hill, the ride wouldn't be nearly as exciting!

Now if only I had an old picture of me as a kid at Carowinds to end this post with...oh well!

Also, don't forget to register for the giveaway!!



  1. Not sure who asked, but my one sentence - "Its like herding cats". Seriously. LOL

  2. Thanks for this post. I needed to hear that tonight. We found out today that my 2 year old son might have asthma, which isn't a horrible diagnosis. However we have to give him nebulizer treatments 3 times a day for the rest of this week, at least. I am pretty worried about how these treatments will go and if it might scar him for life. Will he be terrified? Will he hate us for making him do it? Thanks for the reminder that this ride will go back up!

  3. I love roller coasters. Maybe that's why I always knew that I'd be a mom.