Yesterday my mom and I took Cole to the community pool. It was chalk full of water-slides, fountains, diving boards and sprinklers. A child’s summer dream lay before us.
Cole has taken to the water like a fish to the sea. No surprise there as I was the same. Without fear or hesitation, his 15 month old body desperately wants to paddle at the speed of light.
After 2 hours of playing and splashing, we were almost ready to pack up for the day when I told my mom I kind of had the desire to go down one of the water-slides. There were two huge ones catching my eye and the kid in me was whispering in my ear to go for it. I quickly saw though that there were only kiddos heading up the water-slide stairs. 7 to 10 year olds taking on these winding, watery roller coasters and I waited for a minute to see if any adults would be making their way there as well.
The adults were either on their phones, relaxing at the zero entry or just lounging around the outskirts of the pool. My mom was pushing me to make the plunge so I walked to the side of the stairs and quickly walked back towards my mom after realizing I was slightly afraid I would see a sign that doesn’t say you have to be this height to ride but one instead that says you can’t be taller than this. Am I too old to go down the slide? So back to my mom and child I went. My mom kept pushing me to go so back to the slides was the only way through this parental tough love pressure.
So there’s me, a mom among these ten or so year olds, waiting my turn to go down the slide. I listened to their conversations like a fly on the wall. “You won’t go down the blue one because you’re afraid,” one boy said to another. The mom in me rares back to put that little bully in his place but before I say anything the boy takes up for himself and quickly retorts, “I make my own decisions in life so stop pushing me around already”. A victory for the underdog right before my very eyes. A small celebration inside me ensues.
The lifeguard directs me to take my seat at the top of the slide and gives me the signal to go down. Like a bullet in darkness, I whirled down and in all honesty was kind of terrified and also having the time of my life. Into the pool I went and out I climbed to meet my family. Thankful that I took the time to remember what it feels like to be a kid. We can get so lost in the adulting, the responsibilities of life, that we forget to take time out to feel that innocent joy of childhood racing through us.
Next time you get the chance to go down the water-slide, do it:)