By: Grace Cross
The body can betray you sometimes. I want to be a person who goes on the scariest roller coaster and then immediately jumps on the second scariest roller coaster and lives to tell about it. I am not scared of heights and I love the views! However, my body wants to court the garbage pail, sending me and my lunch contents into a never ending stream of yesterday’s food choices. I throw up. I get a headache for over 24 hours. First world problem, absolutely! In an alternate universe, I ride the highest roller coasters for days. But like most people when something makes them feel bad, I avoid it. That is, until I became a Mom.
My little one is brave and loves to try new things and experiences. Those experiences defy my stomach as this little human being likes things that are fast, high and fun. Let me climb the highest jungle gym. Let me spin until I fall with dizziness. Let me hang from this high tree. The world is this child’s oyster.
Luckily, when it comes to rides, my partner has the drive for everything fast and furious and loves to take our child on these adventures. However, that was all challenged with a girl’s day with one of my favorites, Momma Braga.
Momma Braga is that ride or die friend you have always wanted. She has a whole lot of life in her tiny frame but she shares in my nausea of rides. We like to do the same things and we click. Meeting a bestie in your 30s is something dreams are made of. Though our children get along like peas and carrots, I love hanging out with Momma B on my own accord as well.
When Momma Braga and her fun sister in law and little Nikki invited us to the Toronto Christmas Market, I knew it was going to be a fun time. The joy of Christmas is in Toronto, there are a lot of fun vendors and a Christmas tree that would knock your socks off. Also Campbell’s was doing a great donation drop off. It’s always great to give back to the community!
It smelled like Christmas, It felt like Christmas. It was cold (obviously, being Canada) but it’s not too cold. The warmth of so many bodies browsing amongst the vendors and the dodging visitors taking endless Christmas selfies can keep a body warm. But beyond a show stopping Christmas tree had our children’s destiny… a merry-go-round.
I remember being able to stomach it. I was five years old and I wanted the horse that looked like it would go the highest. I would hop on with my visiting cousins and we would pretend we were “racing”.
Be honest, the best times in your life are sometimes not the biggest moments in your life. A given best memory would be perhaps your child being born or if you chose to get married. But some memories are not just milestones or big events. Some of the best times in your life are on a beautiful centurion merry-go-round, ‘racing’ your cousins on a summer day.
I don’t know when I started getting sick on rides or how. But now it’s a time to call to action. It’s a girls evening in Toronto, my partner is not here to take my daughter on this spinney ride. It’s my turn. My little one is so excited to go on her first merry-go-round ride and her friend is equally thrilled. Plus, Momma Braga is getting on.
Her sister in law generously buys our tickets and dispenses the advice to just focus on one point, rather than letting your eyes follow the spin of the carousel. Okay, I can do this.
We get on this wobbly merry-go-round and the kids are already filled with dreams and requests on what horse to ride on. The lights are bright and Toronto looks beautiful. I bid adieu to the CN Tower that stands prominently in the Toronto skyline and I hear the horn go off. The ride is going to begin. The sound echoes the horrible horn like sound of the alien in War of The Worlds when the aliens are about to annihilate the human race. I smile at my metaphor. Momma Braga is a whole 8 inches shorter than I am and she is holding up little Nikki. We both look at each other and say our good-byes, as we both get sick on these things. And we start to spin. Then I focus. I focus on my child’s smile. I focus on the hair blowing in the wind. I focus on the joys of “racing” with her best friend right beside her. I focus on the “Oh Gosh’s” that Momma Braga is saying. She’s not sick. I am not sick. We are impending something that is not going to happen. I focus on how this was me, many moons ago, with the same innocence of life just beginning and not having any of the answers and not really having many questions either.
The horn blows again and Momma Braga, our kids and I wobble off. We did not throw up or have a terrible headache. What we do have is two very excited little people who are so proud to have gone on their first merry-go-round ride. As I step off the merry- go round I take pride that I was not sick and that my little one had a good time. Then I realize, I had one of those “best small moments” of my life.
Sometimes, a #MomWin is conquering a small fear you have had. Sometimes our children challenge our comfort zones and teach us lessons that have magnitude. I remember my Mother in law telling me she had a fear of heights and my partner dragged her up one of those epic waterslides that have what looks like to be a 90 degree fall. Before she can convince him to rethink this, he slides down. Now she’s stuck. She has a seven year old at the bottom of this waterslide, alive yet alone. She could walk down the 14 flights of stairs or she can get to him quicker, by sliding down. But she’s scared. But her son is amongst hundreds of other people at a waterpark while she is stuck at the top of this really high and really scary waterslide. As I’ve mentioned, she has a fear of heights. However, her #MomWin overpowers her and she puts her arms over her chest and crosses her feet and slides down the scary waterslide! She ends up by her child’s side. She still has her fear of heights but her urge to protect her child outweighed her fear. In my humble opinion, she still has the fear but now realizes it’s manageable and it does not overcome her.
No matter if your challenges are big or small our children can be our biggest teachers, without even knowing it. Some of our life’s challenges can become our greatest memories, no matter how simple or profound they are. I got to get on a merry-go-round and the winter day melted into those summer memories of my childhood, racing with my cousins. Except, I was reliving that memory with my favorite person on the planet, my child. I got to experience it with one of my dearest friends and her daughter which is awesome.
And a simple day became a great day.
No matter how big or how small in my case a challenge is, a #MomWin is a #MomWin. How did you have a #MomWin #DadWin or #ParentWin? This goes for family members like aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends of children as well. Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.
Now, after my overblown confidence of not getting sick over a simple ride, I may be able to tell my partner the next time my little one gets the urge to try a ride that I’ve got this after all!
The Toronto Christmas Market was voted one of the World’s 10 Best Holiday Markets by Fodor’s Travel and Top 10 Christmas Markets by Jetlegs. It is located at the Distillery Historic District in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is a not for profit organization that charges admissions only on weekends starting at 5pm on Fridays (it gets pretty busy!) and is open 7 days a week. It boasts dozens of vendors that sell Christmas wears, yummy treats and so much more! In 2017, it is currently celebrating its 8th year and we have to say it’s its best year yet! Be sure to go both during the day and at night when the lights are up. It is truly two different experiences! We can’t wait to go again next year!
Disclaimer: No Moms were harmed in the making of this article. An ego was bruised but no harm done 😉