Tuesday, August 7, 2012

5 Lessons I Learned at an Amusement Park

You never know where you'll learn a lesson or two!

We checked off another item on our summer fun bucket list this week - visit Six Flags New England. I went on the day trip expecting blistering sun, oppressive heat, and tired feet. I got that and so much more!

In addition to truly enjoying an amusement park for the first time in my life (I don't do roller coasters!), I learned a few life lessons from our summer day trip.

Joel and Sam (3 yrs) riding a Ferris Wheel type ride.

1. Life is not all about me.

Don't get me wrong. As a mom I am all too familiar with this concept! Life ceased to be all about me 9 years ago.

My husband modeled the idea as he readily climbed into and filled 75% of this little wagon. He then rode around in a giant circle in the oven-like wagon. All for the benefit of a 3 year old boy who was too scared to ride alone or with his siblings.

The ride wasn't fun or exciting for my husband but he did it anyway. 

Life is like that. Sometimes you put your own desires aside to help fulfill someone else's dream.

Ellie (5 yrs) loved riding the swings!

2. Life can improve with a shift in perspective.

Ellie enjoyed her ride on the swings immensely. She leaned into it, let go of the plastic covered chains, and waved her arms as if she were flying.

On the other hand, Sam held the chains in a death grip and didn't turn loose during the whole ride. He sat stiff in his seat and managed a smile when encouraged from the sidelines.

Both children rode the same ride but one experienced a fabulous time while the other only endured the ride.

Life is like that. Your response to circumstances shapes the outcome just as much as the circumstances shape you.

Joel impersonated Beyonce while dancing with Daffy Duck!

3. When life's opportunity calls, say "YES!"

As we sat waiting for the Looney Tunes Dance Off show to begin a staff member approached my husband and asked him to participate in the show. Joel had no idea what he signed up for.

In the middle of the performance my introverted husband walked out on stage wearing a bad blond wig, scarf, and sunglasses pretending to be Beyonce!!! We all laughed as he danced around the stage with Daffy Duck and imitated the superstar.

I don't think my kids fully appreciate what it took for their dad to get up in front of complete strangers and act silly. But what a great memory we all have because of his willingness not to take himself to seriously!

Life is like that. You never know how an opportunity will pan out but, if you take a risk, it might turn into something fun and exciting.

4. Carpe diem! Seize the day!

Ellie embodied carpe diem on this day. She rode every ride she was tall enough to ride. She raised her arms in the air and felt the pull of gravity on her insides as her body bounced along the roller coaster track.

She laughed and entered the amusement park fun with gusto! And enjoyed almost every minute of the day. She did NOT enjoy getting soaked on the water ride. 

Life is like that. You embrace the moment and sometimes you love it, while other times you don't.

My Team about to drive off without me.

5. See the big picture.

Today they are 3, 5, 7, and 9 years old. Today I combed her hair into pig tails. I pulled his hat down from the upper shelf in the closet. I made his sandwich. I cleaned his glasses.

On this day they are children enjoying a ride in a motorized car pulled along a track.

I see all of that in this photograph but I also see the future. I see a day in 7 or 8 years when they all climb into a real car and Will drives them off for a night on the town without me. I see a day when my role as a mom shifts from authority to advisor.

Life is like that. You see the frustrations and failures of today and if you are wise you see the successes and possibilities of the future.

Our day trip to Six Flags was a ton of fun. My kids declared it The Best Day EVER! I think I agree with them; lessons, tired feet, and all!

What lessons have you learned this summer?

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Kate @ Teaching What Is Good said...

Stephanie, those are some GREAT lessons!! I loved the post and your creativity in showing us your trip to Six Flags!! Wonderful.

Carrie said...

Awesome post! I loved reading this! So glad that you all were able to enjoy THE BEST DAY EVER as a family! And your husband is a sport and a trooper to be sure! That's awesome.

Anonymous said...

"Your response to circumstances shapes the outcome just as much as the circumstances shape you." This is a very true statement. This summer I have learned that if *I* constantly complain about doing the drive around for my kids, they will feel like I think they are a burden to me. At 14,15,18, and 20 my days of driving them to anf from work are coming so quickly to an end. Off they go into the world! While I am thrilled for them and do not WANT them to stay home forever...I know I will miss the run around days of summer jobs! So glad you enjoyed your day at the park. Tomorrow I get to drop my 2 younger ones off at the county fair to have a few hours of fun with some of their friends...without the hubby or I being with them the entire time 0_o. The time to let them try out independence is upon me. But....We will still be there after 3 hours just in case they still need us. And I am planning on driving them home :0).

Liz {Learning To Juggle} said...

I LOVE this - what amazing lessons can be learned at the amusement park...who knew?! Looks like you had a wonderful family day out - I love how you and your husband really put your kids and your family first!!

fragrantroses said...

Loved this. You brought to mind the great fun and sweet memories I have of my son at a 6 Flags. I remember writing in his journal that I hoped I never forgot the sound of his laughter that day.

Alas, 20 years later, I remember his laughter. I feel warm when I recall it, but I can't hear it anymore. It sounds more like echos. But the memory is still as sweet.

Stephanie said...

Thanks everyone! It was a fun post to write!!

Soxy Diamond said...

I love this post and how you can truly turn any activity (like a fun day at the amusement park) into some wonderful life lessons! Your kids are lucky to have you teaching them the way of the world :)

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

What a great post! Great lessons learned on a day spent with your beautiful family. Love the pics of Ellie making the most of every ride. And I love that Joel got up on that stange and danced. As a fellow introvert, I can understand the amount of courage it took - go Joel! And that last picture? Wow! Brings tears to my eyes to think of them in the future. It goes by WAY too fast!

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