Posts Tagged ‘essay’

Extreme Parenting: On Snowshoes and Rollercoasters

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

The New York Times’ “Motherlode” Blog, April 3, 2015

By Karen Brown

When I was growing up, my father was terrified of roller coasters, but he would still ride on them with my sisters and me. Our favorite, the Rebel Yell, had several towering, rounded peaks and a rickety wooden track. My father would pace nervously for the 45 minutes in line, feel sick in the trek to the top, nauseated on the drop, green and queasy as we rolled back to the gate and then just shake his head the rest of the day in shock and relief. 

Then one day, after he had endured this routine for a decade, he had a revelation: “I don’t have to do this!” He realized he could let us get on the ride alone and wait for us at the bottom, happily eating his corn dog.

And guess what? While we might have preferred that he join us, when we got off the roller coaster, we loved him exactly the same.

I thought about my father’s epiphany a lot in the weeks leading up to my four-day snowshoe hike in the White Mountains with my son. I signed up for this guided trip, not because I was dying to trudge through several feet of snow and sleep in an unheated hut, but because my son loves extreme adventure. It’s not easy to curry favor with a 16-year-old, and this seemed like a potentially winning entry in the sweepstakes called: ‘How do you get your teenager to love and appreciate you?’ (My daughter, thankfully, is happy with a Broadway show.)….

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