After a third night of sleeping with a fussy baby, we were forced to find an urgent care facility to see a doctor. The doctor confirmed a double ear infection and offered a different, stronger antibiotic. At this point, we were stumped as to what to do next. We weren’t sure if Morgan was going to feel well enough to continue to sight-see and we were discussing whether we should head back to the hotel or continue with our plans. Before we could decide, he conked out in the backseat, so we decided to go ahead and make the drive to Royal Gorge. At least, he would get an hour in the car to sleep.
After sleeping for over an hour, Morgan woke up in a pretty happy mood, and we all headed into Royal Gorge. If you know anything about Royal Gorge (or even know the definition of gorge), and you read about our day at Palo Duro Canyon, then you can guess what happened next. We went first to the tram that takes you on a cable car across the gorge. Panic immediately took a hold of Evan. He was absolutely not going to get in the cable car and go across the big hole in the Earth. He didn’t want any of the rest of us to do it either. I tried reasoning with him. I tried explaining how a cable works, and the impossibility of all of the cables breaking at the same time. I showed him the safety systems in place for the tram, but he was unmoved. Desperate, I channeled all the armchair psychology I had learned from watching a marathon of Obsessed and told him he had to ride, no more discussion.
“You might be scared and think you are going to die, but you won’t actually die,” I said as I pulled him onto the tram. Was it a smooth parenting move or an epic fail? We would have to wait and see. He glared at me and then whipped his head around to the tram operator. “Has this thing ever fallen?” he quivered. Of course not, the operator assured him. Evan was not satisfied. “Well, how many times has it gone across?” he wanted to know. He was looking like he might seriously turn and run, but the doors shut and the tram was off.
He was afraid to open his eyes for the first part of the trip, but halfway through he cracked one eye and carefully peered across the gorge. When we reached the other side, he was elated. At first, I wasn’t sure if he was just thrilled to be on solid ground, or if my gamble had paid off. Turns out, he was so proud of himself, and I was equally proud of him. He had conquered a real fear, and that is no small feat. To this day, he will still say that riding across the Royal Gorge is one of his proudest moments. It was a proud moment for me too. I am glad that I made him do it and glad that it worked out so well, so I don’t have to put it on my list of parenting failures.
We spent the rest of day enjoying the attractions at the Royal Gorge. And when we walked across the bridge that spans the gorge, Evan didn’t even bat an eye.