Last splashes of summer

I like the yellow slide better than the red one at the YMCA. Why? Because the yellow slide is open and I can see the whole pool and sky and world and air, if I want to. And being sane, I always want to.

My kids, though, prefer the red tube because it’s got that “X” factor (which just means you can’t see a blasted thing while your body is torqued into a too small space and your bathing suit is skidding up your tushie giving you a powerful wedgie—at least, that’s what I read in the gossip sheets).

So what’s up with my sudden change of heart (and sanity)? Today, yes, I risked my only life on the red. I could blame my kids (that’d be a nice change wouldn’t it? The generation that blamed their parents for the rough-go twenties and thirties can now blame their kids in midlife! I like it).

To be fair, my sweethearts have been completely non-coercive in their approach to the slides. They allow me to ride the yellow one while they speed by me in the red that twists underneath it, though they do permit themselves the odd gaffaw or two at the bottom as I gracefully enter the quiet waters. I usually turn the other cheek… until today.

Seeing my kids happily prefer red to yellow week after week, all summer, worked on me. What am I? Mama’s boy or Super-MAMA!?!

I mounted the metal stairs dripping wet, and seated myself in front of the gaping red hole. I felt like Neo who chose the red pill and watched Morpheus turn mercurial. What have I done?

“Go” called the YMCA young hunk who monitored slide-sliding.

Liam lurched forward on the yellow and I launched myself into the red before I had time to rethink. My world shrunk into a hot, tight, pinkish plastic circle where my derriere scuffed along the crevices of the watery chute and my noggin repeatedly knocked against the arched overhead plastic. I got sloshed and swept by the wicked waters until the tube ejected me at the end and I sank like a wet shoe to the watery depths (Yes, over four feet deep at that end! I could barely stand).

And then,

and then… Liam bobbed up from the deep beaming. “Did you like it?”

And right then, not a moment earlier, I did.

“Like totally!” We high-fived a splash of water and both started laughing. We swam under the safety line to the open seas.

Then we did handstands and stood under the conical buckets that dowse our heads with gallons of water, and swam back and forth while cool clean liquid joy glided over our alive, muscley bodies.

The red slide! Reality! The end of summer.

Hope you find a place to let it all go before September brings rulers and scotch tape back into your life.

2 Responses to “Last splashes of summer”

  1. […] I wrote about these bad girls last August. Brave daughter trotted up the stairs to be the first of our family to face the slides. […]

  2. […] our academic calendar: Memorial Day! That’s the day our YMCA opens the outdoor pool with its dangerous red and yellow slides, groovy snack bar and luxurious lounge chairs. That date signals the end of routine, objectives, […]