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A Mental Roller Coaster Ride

Miles 3This memory just came up on my facebook feed. This was 4 years ago. This was Miles and it was taken at the waterpark in our neighborhood. We went to the spraypark so Mariah could rest. I remember when this happened and I remember what I thought at the time. I just wanted to capture his happiness, joy, and free spirit. I ended up doing a little more than that by setting myself on an analytical rollercoaster ride.

I am a very analytical person, usually the most analytical person in the room. I am not exaggerating when I write this and I don’t mean it in a boastful way. My analytical mind creates many problems – Mariah often hates it. A colleague once told me that she wished she could be in my head for a day. When I asked her why she would want to do that, she said because it seems like so much thought is put into what should be simple decisions. The problem is that I can’t stop. It is like an addiction. Some people are afraid of rollercoasters.I guess you could say that I am afraid of not riding the rollercoaster. I am afraid that if I don’t get on the ride, then I am going to miss something amazing.
Ok, back to the point. When I took this pic, I wanted to capture the happiness of the moment. I believe I did that. I discovered that I really captured an opportunity to ride a rollercoaster. A rollercoaster of further analysis. As I looked at the pic over and over, the ride took off:
Look how happy he is.

OMG, this one isn’t going to be too smart. He may need a little (or a lot) of extra help. The truth was that he didn’t know how to wear a pair of goggles. He was only 3 and had never worn a pair.

Why in the world did he need the goggles at the spray park? Was he planning to hold his face under one of the sprayers and stare down the spray? What the heck did he think they were going to do?

Was he just trying to make a fashion statement with the goggles? Who was he trying to impress or freak out and run off?

What have we done? We have two of these aliens and about to have a thitd.

Should I tell Mariah that Madden snuck over to the playground and I had no idea?

How does Mariah do it? How does she take such great care of us? Where is she when I need her? I must not be good at parenting. I really need her.

Am I a good dad? Can I improve? Am I going to be able to help?

My mind does this all of the time. At times it is beneficial and at times it is detrimental. The challenge is identifying just when to get on the rollercoaster and knowing when to stay off. It is really a balance of fear. Am I more afraid of not getting on the rollercoaster (of missing something) or am I more afraid of getting on the rollercoaster (the ride is too dangerous)? Usually, I am more afraid of missing out on the ride. Luckily, Mariah has no problem telling me not to ride or to get off all together. I love her and need her so much. I hope I can stop riding the rollercoasters for her sake.


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