I don’t know if it’s the fact that I survived sea kayaking, or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve now spent the night in a tent with lightning flashing all around us, of if it’s simply that I know my kids are old enough to not jump out of the sky car, but it appears I’m no longer afraid to ride the Skyfari at the zoo.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t LOVE it. Well, part of me does. It’s always made me nervous, but I stopped being able to tolerate it at all when I had babies. However illogical, I think it had to do with an instinct to protect my babies – not that other mothers need to respond by avoiding the Skyfari or else they won’t love their babies, just that I think motherhood exacerbates anxieties sometimes and this happens to be (one of) mine.
A few months ago we went to the zoo with some friends who suggested we maybe not take the 45-minute hike up the steep grades back to the front of the zoo, and instead fly gently back in a matter of 3 minutes or so. I could not. Every cell in my body screamed, “NO. HELL NO.” And so, when a different friend suggested it this week, naturally, I responded the same way. Verbally. It took me a few minutes to hear the cells in my body, but this time they were saying, “Eh. Why not?”
“WHAT?” I asked my cells (but not out loud, because that would be crazy).
“Well, yeah. What’s the worst that could happen?”
“Um. We could fall to our deaths? End up splattered in the lion’s enclosure?”
“That’s impossible. The Skyfari doesn’t go over the lions.”
“YOU GET MY POINT.”
“Look at all the babies. They can handle it OK.”
“You tried convincing me of that when I rode the Matterhorn, Cells. And then you screamed the whole way through.”
“No, that wasn’t us. Your LOGIC tried to convince you to ride that one. And when has logic ever served you well? Trust us. We’re your instincts. Remember what Gavin de Becker says about instincts?”
“FINE. We’ll ride. But if I cry again and all the kids at the zoo laugh at me it’s all your fault, Cells.”
And as it turns out, my cells were right. It wasn’t horrible and I didn’t cry. In fact, standing in line was much harder than actually gliding though the sky. By the time we landed, I wasn’t even shaking any more. And what’s more is that I kind of wanted to ride it again.
But just because I’m living on the edge these days doesn’t mean I’m going to befriend escalators any time soon.