All my older son wanted for his thirteenth birthday was a ride on the London Eye.
When I pushed him into the world thirteen years ago, he put my body to the test. The hardest test it has ever faced. My younger son shot into the world with speed. My older son has never liked change, and first demonstrated this characteristic with his disinclination to leave the womb.
As the opening salvo of the tests to come during his teens, I had to face my fear of crowds and general distaste for cities by entering London the Saturday before Easter. We did not walk from the Tube to the Eye, the masses pushed us there. I will never again fall for the myth that Brits have mastered queue management. Had anyone shouted fire in the overfilled structure where every last rider must buy or collect their ticket for a measly thirty minutes above Thames, we all would have met our end. The physical labor of child-rearing may be behind me, but the psychic struggle that is parenthood has barely begun.
Two good things emerged from the test of my border-line agoraphobia. 1) I have never been so happy to enter a contraption that would take me to great height. 2) My son knows that my love knows no bounds. He will never know my experience of childbirth, but he watched me challenge – if not conquer – my deepest fears for his benefit. That, I hope, was a view as valuable as Buckingham Palace from above.