Because life is a series of edits

Just In Case There’s Nothing to Talk About Later in Family Therapy

In Places & Spaces on September 2, 2006 at 10:46 pm


After a major amusement park bummer a week ago (and considering the calendar, knowing it was now or never), Megan and I braved the Labor Day Saturday crowd (which wasn’t bad) and took the girls to Six Flags. With four “get-in-free” vouchers in hand (thanks, Mitchell and Lisa) and a two-year-old who was free, all we had to buy was one child’s ticket and we were in.

We stayed for seven hours. And believe it or not, it was a blast: the crowds were thin, the weather was perfect, and the kids were great. It was amazing…especially for us (insert your favorite hapless scene from National Lampoon’s Vacation here).

It’d been some twenty years since I’d been to Six Flags (our youth group used to drive down from Illinois once a summer for the annual mostly-pointless trip), and the place had built up quite a bit with lots of new rides and a very cool waterpark. Still, I knew that the coaster my oldest two (7 1/2 and 6) had to experience first if they were going to follow through on their rollercoaster smack-talking and prove their amusement park mettle was Daddy’s old favorite, The Screamin’ Eagle.

To my surprise, they rode it: the younger twice; the oldest three times. To be honest, I was amazed that they went through with it. But then I was probably more amazed that I, as their parent, allowed/encouraged them to experience the risk and trauma of a 110-ft. high, 92-ft. drop wooden rollercoaster that runs 3872 feet in length at 62 m.p.h.

If this doesn’t come up in family therapy in twenty years, I don’t know what will.

After the third time around, you would think I would have learned my lesson. However, as we were getting ready to leave just before the park closed, my seven-year-old begged me to take her on The Boss, the fifth fastest wooden rollercoaster in the world at 66 m.p.h., complete with a 122-ft. drop at a vertical angle of 52 degrees.

I ask you: What was a loving father to do? We ran up the long walkway, each semi-trying to talk the other out of riding the monster coaster, but neither one succeeding. During the ride, my seven-year-old closed her eyes for at least half the time, and I kept asking God to forgive me for my almost-beyond-being-forgiven irresponsibility in exposing my precious children to the emotional scarring that the experience of rollercoasters before puberty might produce.

Thankfully, the ride ended with no incident (that is, we lived). On the way back down the walkway, my seven-year-old declared that, indeed, she was “the boss of The Boss.”

Oh, God, what have I done?


About Craig

In on June 30, 2006 at 9:02 am

(3 of 83)Growing up on a farm in west central Illinois, I attended the University of Missouri in Columbia as a journalism major, but ended up with a bachelor’s degree in geography (and a minor in history) so as to graduate in four years and pursue ministry with The Navigators.

Upon graduation from Mizzou in 1993, I moved to Colorado Springs, where I served as program director for Eagle Lake Camp and Glen Eyrie Conference Center, the camp and conference ministries of The Navigators. In addition to camp and retreat work, I also wrote and recorded 60 original songs, traveled to and taught in the African country of Uganda, met and married Megan, and became the father of four daughters.

In 2003, having worked with over 800 college students and 15,000 junior high and high school students, I co-authored and published TwentySomeone: Finding Yourself in a Decade of Transition, a practical theology book for people entering, experiencing, and exiting their twenties (parents of twenty-somethings tend to be readers as well). I’ve also published articles in Christianity Today, Discipleship Journal, and ByFaith.

After 12 years with The Navigators, in 2005 I moved my family to St. Louis, where I earned a Masters of Theological Studies and a Masters in Educational Ministries at Covenant Theological Seminary. During my time at Covenant, I served as teaching assistant to professor Jerram Barrs at the seminary’s Francis Schaeffer Institute. I also taught New Testament, Biblical Ethics, and Worldviews to 9th-12th graders at Westminster Christian Academy.

In 2010, I self-published my second book, Learning Education: Essays and Ideas from My First Three Years of Teaching, informed by my seminary education and my experience teaching.

In 2011, I began my tenure in classical Christian school administration, moving to Oklahoma City and becoming Head of School at Veritas Classical Academy before leading the merger of Veritas with Providence Hall Classical School into The Academy of Classical Christian Studies in 2013.