I fondly remember an excursion with my dad the summer before he passed away.

We had an amazing day at Marineland.

My parents took me and a friend on, what seemed at the time, a great adventure.

The mighty whales were a splendid sight to see.

We sat and watched as the behemoth beasts jumped and splashed into the water.

We then had an opportunity to feed some deer.

But these were no ordinary deer.

Contrary to any nature programs I had seen during my youth, these deer were far from timid and knew exactly why I was there.

I still have nightmares about the chase that took place.

A small group of these aggressive creatures were so desperately wanting to take the feed I had clenched so tightly in my hands.

Do you know what it feels like to be hunted down by some deer?

It is freaky and disturbing.

Luckily, as the end of the day drew near, we came across Dragon Mountain.

This was a majestic and brilliant steel roller coaster that had just made its debut at the park that year.

My dad was a bit hesitant at first. Having some contraption fling us upside down over and over again didn’t seem entirely safe to him.

I was not going to let that stop me.

I was determined that we would get on Dragon Mountain, one way or another.

At this point in my young life, this was my dream, and I wasn’t about to give it up.

To the best of my adolescent ability, my 9-year-old self described a simple demonstration I had witnessed while watching some popular kids’ show.

On the show, they had taken a bucket of water and tied a rope to it. When they took hold of the rope, they would swing the bucket around and around very quickly in a similar fashion to the loop-de-loop we saw with the roller coaster.

Despite the fact that the bucket found itself upside down countless times, the water remained in the bucket.

It did not fall out.

My youthful exuberance and simple explanation were enough to convince my dad that the ride would be safe.

As the four of us were seated in the coaster and we started upwards, my dream became reality.

I was so excited to be able to experience this ride.

I felt some slight disappointment during the initial incline.

How long does this portion of the ride take? How long do we have to wait until the loop-de-loop?

This is boring.

And then I remember screaming my head off as we hit a sudden drop.

My disappointment was quickly replaced by delight as we laughed and screamed as we found ourselves inside a dark and unforgiving tunnel.

And before I was able to realize what was happening, we hit the loop-de-loop.

Moments later, the coaster returned to its starting position where other thrill-seekers could join in on the fun.

Is it really over?

As luck would have it, the ride wasn’t that busy that day.

And then my dad announced he was ready for another go-around.

If you were to ask me how many more times we braved Dragon Mountain that day, I would not be able to give you anything resembling a number.

I could only tell you it was “A LOT”.


Fathers serve as leaders in their households.

In fact, they are the first example of leadership a child ever gets to witness and learn from.

And even decades later, we can still learn from the example they had set.

First of all, there is nothing wrong with hesitation.

Hesitation is a leader’s way of saying, “We need more data.”

Upon collecting further data, what conclusions can we safely make?

Acknowledging your son’s dream is good.

Embracing your son’s dream is great.

But helping make your son’s dream a reality – priceless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *