Tag Archives: swimming

Water Park

Water park, great equalizer of humanity.

water park double tubes

tubes for two

Waves of humans stripped down to the skivvies we call bathing suits. Nothing and nowhere to hide.

The throbbing sun bakes this oasis, this jewel of blue on the drought-worn prairie. We flock to the relief of the pool. We gather at the watering hole: elephant, antelope, crocodile, hyena.

My child, energized by the water and the people, skips between activities. I follow as his guardian and his insurance that he won’t swim alone today.

We begin with the obstacle course. Training for American Ninja.

water park lily pads

lily pads

Children slip across floating lily pads. They scurry and swing along rope webs. They drop and dog paddle ferociously to the finish line.

I observe, taking note of my offspring’s competitive streak. Between his father and me, he didn’t stand a chance of missing that trait, poor thing.

Herds of middle schoolers run together in co-ed packs. High school girls saunter like giraffes in triads, while high school boys buzz in larger, amorphous groups, joking and oblivious to their surroundings.

Tattoos litter bodies. They punctuate skin and recoil like secret sin exposed in the sunlight.

water park my shadow

toes and shadow

A dragon crawls around a woman’s torso. A cross marks a man’s bicep. A clover nips a lady’s ankle. And on another man’s chest, the infant footprint of his son who now swims beside him, a baby no more.

The hip, young women have accentuated their navels with piercings. Glittery rhinestone stars. All I can think of is how this will look should these girls grow up to bear children. Their tummies bulging with pregnancy, I imagine the star navel rings popping like buttons on shirts. Timers on turkeys.

Soon my child is ready to move on. Bravely I stand, the only person older than 16 in line for the slide.

water park orange slide

orange anaconda

There are two water slides. The orange closed tunnel and the blue open air. Like closed and open MRI machines.

My child screams with delight as the giant, orange anaconda swallows him whole. Down into its narrow, black throat he disappears. I’m next in line.

I’m usually not claustrophobic, but the tunnel seems too long and too dark. I whiz around curves and pray for light. I wonder if this is what it feels like to die.

A burst of sun and water and the snake spits me out. Has my child survived?

He’s already back in line to slide again.

water park torrent

thrill of the day

We traverse the lazy river. We revisit the obstacle course, and I think it must be his favorite thing. Then we see it.

Children run to the foot of the great bucket. The alarm bell rings faster and faster as the bucket tips. A torrent of water splashes down on the crowd of shrieking kids. They disappear in the flood. They scatter as the water dissipates and drains away.

This. This is the thrill of the day.

I stand beside my child the next round. We watch the white water crash toward us. Drench us. Wash and cool us.

We are alive. And for a split second this summer, I am a child again.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. 1 John 3:1 NIV 1984

Joy by Newsboys.

What’s your favorite summer memory?

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I Like My Bike

Cindy II (not to be confused with my homegirl, the unflappable Cyndi Tew)

This post was featured by WordPress Freshly Pressed on August 31, 2011.

My friend Corey turned 40 this year and announced he would now be living as if he were half his age. I promptly decided to adopt this philosophy.

Of course there are many things I can’t do now that I could do when I was 20.

Well, I may still be able to do them. But just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.

Staying up past a reasonable bedtime? No longer a good idea. Drinking more than an occasional glass of wine? Not good either. Eating half a five-dollar pizza all by myself? No.

There are other things though. Things I haven’t done for many years that are good for me. Enter Cindy.

Cindy was my first bike, complete with a banana seat and streamers on the handle bars. A horse was not in the cards, but I could name a bike just as well.

I received Cindy way before I was 20. Probably around age five or six. I’ll never forget learning to ride that bike. How wonderful it felt to be free and go fast.

Somewhere in the murky years of high school, I gave up bike riding. And skating. And swimming. Fun things I once enjoyed. Why do we do that?

fun on ice…

Then a couple years ago, I decided to take my little boy skating at Steinberg Ice Rink in Forest Park. It was a perfect December day. He was too young to be on the ice for very long. I, however, had a ball.

We went skating again this past winter. He got the hang of balancing and moving at the same time. But all he really wanted to do was spin around in circles and fall and laugh.

We go swimming too. Although momma doesn’t always let her hair get wet, the water is like a long-lost friend.

…and in water

When my husband received a reward certificate with an option to redeem for a bike, I lobbied. I had my eye on a sleek, expensive model at Big Shark Bicycle Company in the Loop. But a free bike? We had nothing to lose.

My son was as excited as I was when the bike arrived in a big box last week. We unpacked it, all shiny and purple.

He helped my husband put it together. Insists I wear my helmet as we ride around the neighborhood.

When I’m with him, we go slowly. He’s still learning. When I’m alone, I fly.

Someday I hope he’ll fly beside me and know what I remember. How wonderful it feels to be free and go fast.

good night, sweetheart!

So, I’m all for just going ahead and having a good time—the best possible. The only earthly good men and women can look forward to is to eat and drink well and have a good time—compensation for the struggle for survival these few years God gives us on earth. Ecclesiastes 8:15 The Message

Be free, go fast, and meet me back here next week!

How could I forget to mention the bicycle is a good invention?

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