Daddy and The Carousel

“Oh, my gosh. She is so cute and so tiny. How old is she?” Our youngest daughter has always attracted a lot of attention because of her size. I’m tiny, and my husband isn’t tall. So, it makes sense we have 3 petite kids. But our youngest is the tiniest. No, really, super tiny. She’s on her own growth curve, and her percentage size is always an estimate: <3%. She was small in the womb with no medical reason. She was small at a full term birth: 5 lbs 6oz. And she’s small now as she turns 3: growing into 2T clothing. She does all the things other kids her age do and with a confident spirit. She does not seem phased by her size. She reminds you she is not a baby. She is sweet, darling, and tiny but is a force to be reckoned with. Being small has given her the extra boost to be assertive. And she’s in good company.

It was summer and fair time. Our family looks forward to our fair every year. We get there early to avoid the entrance fee, bring a ton of water, eat lots of fair food, get the ride wrist bands, and stay until the sunset. That’s how you do the fair. This year, our girls hit some milestones. Our older one could ride some of the bigger rides. Our middle one could ride more rides without an adult but with her big sis instead. And our little one was finally just big enough to ride more rides than the carousel and the big slide with her dad. Yep, she had to grow into the baby rides.

I took the two bigger kids to a kid coaster, and my husband took our littlest one to the carousel. I peered over to their direction to see if I can spot them. Did she choose a black horse, maybe a white one, inside or outside. That’s when I spotted them sitting on the carousel sleigh bench.

Afterward, I asked what happened, and my husband explained that our littlest one was too scared to be on a horse, despite her previous excited pleas to ride the carousel and despite her dad securely holding her. She had been on carousels before and was great. But this time, she became afraid and didn’t remember how big her daddy was. There’s no way in the world my husband would ever let her fall. He would risk breaking something before that would even happen.

Her dad has always rocked her, held her, comforted her. He held her as a newborn in the hospital and held her in her other hospital stay. He’s playfully thrown her up into the air, as daddies do, catching her with her grin and giggle. He’s danced with her, pushed her on swings, helped her on tricycles, held her hand navigating big playgrounds, and caught her at the end of slides. He’s even held her on the big fair slides. And those are fast! But this moment, it seemed, she was looking at how small she was, how big the carousel was, and not at how big her daddy was.

How you ever forgotten how big your Heavenly Father is? I know I have. He’s walked with you and held you through hardship before. He’s made things change in your favor before, maybe even done a miracle. Suddenly, you are looking at how big your problem is and forget about God’s strength, sovereignty, and love for you. Will God keep me safe? Is He really there? What if I lose this job? What if I lose my spouse or my kids? What if I lose everything? Our worries can haunt and plague us. In our hardship or our sorrows, we can easily lose sight of the One that holds us close and dear. The One that calms the storm, sometimes on the outside and sometimes just on the inside. We forget how big our Daddy is. It takes actively seeking Him to remember all who He is when the storm comes. When life’s carousel of ups and downs takes us for a ride.

Some time later, I took the big girls again to another big kid ride. And my husband took our littlest one back to the carousel. This time, when I looked over, I saw her happily on her horse of choice. No tears. Just a happy cheesy grin with her daddy. Her eyes were off of how small she was and off of the fearful what-ifs but were now on her strong daddy: the one holding her securely through the ups and downs.