So, Big Kid and I had a great day. We went to the kid's orchestra program, out to lunch, and to a friend's birthday party.
The birthday party was at some crap-ass "amusement" park (I put amusement in quotes because it's not very amusing at all) with shitty rides. One of the rides was a row of seats that they'd lift into the air and then drop, over and over again.
It didn't look like fun to me at all, but Big Kid's friends were going on it and he was excited to go on it too.
The first drop he turned gray. His face was so scared. Every time the chairs fell his legs would shake in terror. When it ended he was shaken and quiet. A friend of his (who didn't go on the ride because he was scared) laughed and said it was funny he was so scared (it was kind of funny, in a helpless, heartbreaking kind of way). I pointed out to the friend that at least Big Kid tried it and I told him he did great.
It was time to leave the party (the SUCKIEST party EVER, for a number of reasons) and when we got in the car, Big Kid said, "Next time, I'm gonna try to be brave. I dest wanna be brave."
"What?? You were brave! It was brave to even go on that scary looking ride!"
"I didn't feel very brave," he said in a quiet voice.
"Well, you felt scared once you got going. The ride is made to make you feel scared. That's fun for some people, maybe it's not your way to have fun. You were brave to try it though."
"I didn't feel very brave," he said again, in the same quiet voice.
I changed the subject to the fun parts of our day, but I could tell he was still thinking about it. As we got out of the car, I saw that he looked sad and I asked what was up.
"I feel...asamed. 'Bout dat ride," he said in a small, hesitant voice.
"Ashamed?? Did you say ashamed?? NO! No, no, no. That's so silly. You didn't cry, or pee your pants, or throw up. You were brave!"
"I felt like I was gonna frow up. I didn't feel brave."
"You were brave! You were so, so, so brave. Those rides make everyone feel like they're going to throw up. That's what they're designed to do! It was awesome that you tried it. You don't have to like it, you don't have to do it again. Lots of people don't like that sort of thing. I wouldn't like that."
I then promised that I'd find a way to get him violin lessons and a child-sized violin, hoping to bring back the earlier magic of the day. (I'm not so sure how I will swing this, but I was in a panic at the time)
Mr. Ashley took the boys to the monster truck show tonight, and I'm still sitting here heartbroken over his reaction to the ride. Ashamed? Oh, goodness. He is just so sensitive and sweet, I live in constant terror that the world will chew him up and spit him out one day.