Monday, September 7, 2009

The Waterslide, dun dun dun!!!

This was in March of 2008. Another old BLOG and probably the last I'll transfer from MySpace.

It's been a while ago now but here it is... the story of my adventure on the waterslide.
In early March we took a little va-cay to Fairmont Hot Springs (the get-away that's not far-away). My hubby had to leave earlier than the the girls and I because he had a plane to catch. Being our supportive and loving selves we hugged him goodbye and headed back to the pool. After all, we still had 2 waterslide passes to use!
It was a really nice weekend actually (considering it was early March) and we spent the majority of our time in the outdoor pools. I sat in the hot pool watching the girls play a diving game. They saw me and decided I looked like a big geek sitting there alone. I was really perfectly happy, sitting there. I didn't really feel alone at all with the other 150 people in the pools that day but I guess that's the difference between 13 and 36.
Feeling a little guilty I decided to go play with the kids. At the time I actually thought hubby played with them more than he does. I later learned they attack him until he chases them. (I guess I get another cool parent feather in my cap for this one!!) The diving game turned out to be lots of fun-- for me at least. Everytime I got all of the sticks in my hand I'd throw them in the water again and hear cries of "mom- we're hungry." "okay mom, we'll get them ONE MORE TIME and then let's eat." and "Mom, noooo!" I guess diving really works up an appetite so we headed inside.
The line at the food counter gave us even more time to talk and I told them they better start using those water slide passes. As we talked about the waterslide, somehow the idea slipped into my mind that I too should try the slide. (Those of you who know me know these types of ideas come occasionally and never really turn out as I hope they will or plan them.) I share my idea with the kids and the excitement was evident - especially on the youngest's face. The excitement quickly mingled with concern as they realize they've been through other ideas I've had like this before. Remember- we are at Fairmont alone. Hubby's at home packing and getting ready to board the plane. We're all semi-risk takers at heart so we decided it would be worth the risk, lol.
We ate lunch and headed toward the 6 or so flights of stairs leading to the slide. The youngest was verbally preparing me for every twist and turn, explaining every last detail that she could remember. The oldest helped some too, and just kinda laughed to herself a lot. I hoped she was just happy I was there sharing the moment with them, and not laughing at me.
It was decided that I would go last so they could see me launch out of the tube. As I waited for my turn I was thinking to myself about how fast the boy (aka lifeguard) was letting people down that slide. For those of you who don't know- there's a lifeguard with a whistle and you can't go down the slide until he or she blows it. It seemed like mere seconds between whistles! When I was younger, I always worried that someone might hit me from behind if I didn't go fast enough. Now I that my baby girls were going to be in front of me I worried that I might go faster than they did, and kill them. That's a lot to think about as you are sitting in the mouth of a 6 story (or so) high waterslide. As the whistle blew I decided I'd intentionally try to go slow and risk being hit from behind. I closed my eyes, plugged my nose, sat straight as a board and started on my journey down the tube. I think I did let out a couple of small screams at unexpected turns or bumps but overall just worried about a mid-slide collision. Before I knew it I neatly sailed out of the water slide and barely made a splash. I was really quite proud of myself. I felt pretty good about the whole thing and the kids were thrilled that all went well. That was enough for me for one day...
That's when I decided to get the camera and try to get pictures of the kids coming out of the waterslide. I stayed at the bottom, waiting for the kids to come down again. All of a sudden someone comes flying out of the TOP of the water slide tube literally flying through the air. I was thinking all sorts of disapproving thoughts when all of a sudden I saw him come up out of the water. This guy was like 69 or 70 years old! His wife and I both shook our heads at him disapprovingly and then I heard some of the wisest words come out of his mouth... "it doesn't make any sense to go slow." She laughed and I thought to myself- but what about a mid-slide collision??? As I over analyzed all of this I noticed the oldest popped out of the waterslide-- dammit, I missed the picture. But I figured the youngest would be popping out soon so I readied myself with the camera. I missed her too- but, I think I have a picture of the splash in my myspace album. Even though I missed BOTH pictures, I did somehow notice that the lifeguard didn't let the youngest start down the slide until the oldest was out of the tube. This is something I never, ever knew. I always thought there was some magic place or special counting technic that told the lifeguard when it was ok to let the next person go. It never occurred to me that you were never in the tube at the same time as the person before you! (Yeah, I'm stupid, I know.) This really seemed to empower me. All of a sudden I was faced with the concept of living life to it's fullest and also given the confidence to try it! I sent the girls up the slide alone once again trying to get at least one picture. The picture never happened but I did confirm that only one person was in the tube at a time. When they came down I shared my revelation, got out another dollar bill and headed to the concession stand to buy myself another single ride ticket. Both of the girls were laughing now, acting like they already knew that only one person slides at a time and that maybe mom really was a few cards short of a full deck.
The trek up the stairs the second time wasn't as fast as the first and the line at the top was longer. By the time I got to the mouth of the slide I was already pretty dry but my commitment to throw myself down this slide as fast as I could was resolute. The kids asked if I wanted to go first but I declined so they could see me come out the top of the tube like that old man did. It was going to be so fun and so cool!
The kids went down the slide and then it was my turn. I started thinking about when I was 14 or 15 years old and went watersliding with friends in Columbia Falls. We all decided that laying back and lifting our butts in the air seemed to make the fastest trip. Unfortunately I'm a bit heavier now than I was then, ok a lot, but I figured that was still the way to go.
The whistle blew and I was off- laying on my back with my feet pushing hard into the slide and lifting my butt into the air. I was going fast alright, but this trip actually seemed to take longer than the first. (Facing death head on must have that effect on you.) I had one hand plugging my nose and the other hand over my eyes. There was no way I wanted to know what was coming and I was so scared I never made a sound. I quickly lost complete control and tried to remember how many accidents or deaths I've read about over the years because of this darn slide. I couldn't think of any, but realized I was NOT having fun and decided I needed to slow down and regain control. Yes, even if it meant sucking up a little of the attitude I had at the top of the slide and maybe even getting my pride hurt a little when the kids mocked me at the bottom.

Ok, so I needed to slow down and get myself under control. I tried many, many things and soon realized there was no way to regain control at this point- what was started had to be finished. I dropped my hands to my side and was praying for God to protect me when I realized -- I don't have my nose plugged! I had no idea where I was on the slide so I quickly raised my hand to grab my nose and I accidentally jammed my entire thumb HARD inside my nostrel. Were those tears stinging my eyes or was it the just chlorine?? Somehow I managed to dislodge my thumb and plug my nose. At this point all I was thinking about was how important it was for me to not let go of my nose, and also to not hit my head! This was the longest waterslide trip of my entire life. I finally shot out of the tube- not quite at the top according to the kids- but
by my standards it was impressive enough. The kids had to guide me to safety and I leaned against the pool wall for a good half-hour, or so it seemed. It may have been longer or shorter than that, but however long it really was, I did draw some unwanted attention. My head hurt so bad!! It was like an ice cream head ache (aka brain freeze) that never went away. I heard the oldest telling people, "she's ok, she just hit her head" and then repeatedly asking "mom, are you ok??" the youngest could be heard laughing uncontrollably and repeating the phrase "oh man, oh man, oh man!!!"
I pulled it together enough that after a couple of hours I felt ok to drive us back to Butte. I guess I can now add watersliding to the list of things I should never do again. Skiing, sledding and now watersliding.

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