Friday, May 9, 2008

FACING HER FEARS

This is the second installment of my writing assignments... again for a 6-9 year old, but is written about a 9 & 11 year old. The class teaches us that children like to read about older children for the most part... so I wrote this about my two older neices. It is only partially true and partially fiction. When I wrote it - we did take the family out on our boat and there was tubing, but that's where the truth stops and artistic license begins. Enjoy!
FACING HER FEARS


Brittany hopped out of the truck at the marina; she couldn’t wait to get out on the lake with her Dad and older sister, Megan. Dad’s rule forced Brittany to wait for her 11th birthday in order to finally be able to go tubing.

Brittany could feel the warmth of the sun and the whisper of the wind on her skin. She glanced at the water; it looked like glass at that time of the morning. Dad helped the girls on the boat once he launched it into the water, while they were fighting about who would get to ride the tube first.

“Okay, who’s going first?” Dad asked while driving to a suitable spot for tubing.


“Um, I think Megan can go first…” Brittany said, as the knots in her stomach began to tighten. Suddenly, all Brittany could hear was the pounding of her heart, and she thought it best to watch her sister first.

“Chicken…” Megan taunted, as she climbed down the ladder into the chilly water. Brittany watched her sister swim out to the purple tube floating on the water, wondering if her nerves would settle in time for her turn.

Megan pulled herself on the tube, and gave the thumbs up – signaling that she was ready. Brittany watched as her sister bounced all over the lake behind the boat. Megan was laughing the entire time, and seemed to be having so much fun! While watching Megan, Brittany began to feel less nervous, and the pounding of her heart faded into the sound of her sister’s giggling. After about ten minutes, which seemed like hours to Brittany, Megan signaled that she wanted to get off.

Dad stopped, and helped Megan back aboard. “Are you ready, kiddo?” Dad asked Brittany with a wink.

“I think so.” Brittany said with a gulp and started down the ladder into the water.

“Make sure to pull yourself up from the back of the tube – or you’ll never get up there...” Megan instructed her sister. “And HOLD ON!”

Brittany pulled herself on top of the tube, which was a lot harder than it looked. She grabbed hold of the handles, took a deep breath, and signaled for Dad to go. With a jerk, the rope pulled tight against the tube and it began to move. Brittany could feel water splashing on her skin, and the wind blowing in her face as she held on for dear life.


Dad began to turn the boat to the left, and the tube started moving to the right over the side of a large wave. Once the tube made it over the wave, the ride got much bumpier and Brittany
started to lose her grip. The boat began to straighten out as it came out of the turn, but on the way back over the wave – Brittany fell.

She hit the water with a lot of force, and the shock of it knocked the wind out of her for a moment. Her life jacket propelled her quickly back above the water, and she caught her breath. As the boat made the circle back to retrieve her from the water, she began to cry. She couldn’t remember ever seeing anyone hit the water that hard, or noticed anyone looking as alone out there as she felt.

“Are you alright?” Dad asked looking at her as if he could tell she was terrified.

“What did you do? Forget to hold on?” Megan teased.

“Leave me alone – I hate that stupid tube.” Brittany said and threw herself onto a seat. “I held on just fine thank you very much!”

“Megan, leave her alone,” Dad said, “Brittany, everything will be fine, and you can try again later if you want to.”

In the meantime, Megan went out again laughing and having a great time while hopping over waves and bouncing out of control. Brittany watched from the boat, and wanted very desperately to get back out on the water and have fun. She knew that having fun meant that she had to take the risk of being scared and miserable again too.

This time Megan held on for fifteen minutes, and Brittany talked herself into facing her fears to give it one more shot. She didn’t want to spend the summer watching as her sister had fun, and wondering if she was missing out on something great.

Brittany backed down the ladder into the water, and swam out to the tube. She hoisted herself on top of the floating doughnut, took another deep breath, and signaled that she was ready to go.

She felt the jerk of the rope again as the tube began to move, and reminded herself to relax. She felt a few small bumps, but was able to stay on the tube – so she began to giggle. The boat made a turn, and she tightened her grip as the tube went over the wave as before. As the tube started back to the other side of the wave her fears returned, but this time she made it without falling off! She was so excited – she began to really enjoy riding on the tube. She laughed and enjoyed feeling the water below the tube and the wind in her hair. She even managed to stay on the tube for ten minutes before getting tired.

She signaled to her Dad that she was ready to come in. “SEE! I can hold on,” she informed her sister as she climbed up the ladder, “that was really fun. Are you going again?”

Both sisters took two more turns on the tube, and had a wonderful time. They even took one ride on the tube together! Brittany couldn’t remember a day where she had as much fun as her first tubing experience. Even though it started out rough – she will always be thankful that she talked herself into facing her fears.
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