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Courage is the willingness to act in spite of fear
~Michael Hyatt

Some people are thrill seekers. Others are much more content to keep their feet firmly on the ground. These two ideals compete. It’s interesting to see who wins and why.


On our way to the Seattle Aquarium, we saw the large Ferris Wheel. Gwen wanted nothing to do with it. The rest of us really wanted to go on it. It was a stalemate for most of the day.

Sometime after lunch we ran into friends. Jared had his baby girl on his shoulders as he walked along the waterfront. It was the most unexpected sight. We know him and his family from the Road to Nowhere. We never expected to see them in Seattle of all places! We greeted each other in surprise and then followed him back to the restaurant where his family was finishing up.

Avalon and Gavin talked about track and cross country. Claire is running this year as a 6th grader. Parker told her he wants to try track. I still need to get him a sports physical. He can only practice as a 6th grader. Which makes it easier to test out the running waters.

Anyway, our families talked for a minute. Jared took a picture of all of us before he needed to get back to work. (I should have asked him to email me a copy) His family had joined his business trip for something fun to do over Spring Break.

One thing we talked about was the Ferris Wheel. Alex said her older kids loved it but the little ones weren’t as happy to be forced to ride. We told Gwen that she should go because Solana and Sydney went and they were fine. *wink*

Gwen still wasn’t convinced. We tried to tell her that this Ferris Wheel was smaller and more mild than Mickey’s Fun Wheel at Disneyland. She still remembers the Wheel of Torture stories from when I accidently took Gavin on a swinging gondola. Funny that those stories are what she remembers and not that she happily and easily rode Mickey’s Fun Wheel the last time we were at Disneyland. I seem to remember she even poked fun at her oldest brother while we were on the ride!

After a few novelty shops Heath made the decision that we were going whether Gwen liked it or not. We would have just left her behind but I was afraid we would get off the ride and find her with a couple of angry police officers ready to take us away for good. It was an all or nothing proposition. Heath made a deal with her.

If she hated it he would make it up to her.
If she loved it we would all get a special treat.

She reluctantly agreed. At first she was excited to keep the card/ticket to scrapbook later. Then we realized we had to show them to the person just before we boarded. We never got them back! *sigh*

We all agreed that Gwen could hold our new harbor seal pet. He didn’t have a name yet. Gavin had suggested Mario while we are on the ride. Later we decided on Elliot because of Elliot Bay. It was a better reminder of where he came from. Gwen held onto our new pet tightly with one hand. I told her she could squeeze Gavin’s hand with her free hand. He patiently let her.


Gwen pointed her thumbs sideways to show she was kind of all right.

Soon she was a full thumbs up and giving the ride a google plex on a scale of one to ten.


The ride was really cool. It was fun to see the Seattle skyline from up so high. Gwen was grateful we had talked her into going. She had found her courage. She learned that courage and bravery are being afraid but doing it anyway. I hope she remembers the exhilaration she felt from finally facing her fears.

Sometimes we have to do scary things. We do it because we feel we have to. Then we realize how great the experience was. We also realize how often we let our own fears stand in the way of our happiness. Yes, I’m talking to myself as I say this.

Conquering fears is reward enough. Ice cream cones also help.