To say good-bye to summer, we headed out on one last day trip.
I like day trips that include proximity to clean bathrooms, staying dry, and not floating in other people’s urine. Since these requirements are so rarely met at home, we were all on board. I voted for a quiet day at the air-conditioned library, checking out the latest in contemporary feminist Canadian fiction, but I was over-ruled. It was a record temp’s summer for Ontario, the kids were hot and sticky, and they were not taking it anymore.
Not even for a good plot, multi-dimensional characters, and controversial themes.
Due to a partial water ban in our area, we had to improvise most of our water fun this year. I tried spitting water from a bottle up into the air and onto the kids, but once the neighbourhood moms found out, they made our house a no-fly zone, and my kids were left to suffer.
Damn those helicopter moms; they ruin it for everyone.
So we needed to step it up a little. We don’t have a pool, and my kids haven’t agreed to a bath together since their cumulative ages were 6. My daughter suggested a water park. At least I think that’s what she said. What I heard was “Let’s go to a bacteria convention and lick hospital doorknobs!”
I can think of several ways I’d rather spend the last warm days of summer, one of which includes a major dental extraction. But in effort to take one for the team, I agreed to the water park. Both kids are good swimmers, and thanks to a combination of acting as though bread and pasta are lethal poisons and trying this crazy thing called “loving your body,” I was finally at a point where I wasn’t completely insecure about wearing a bathing suit in public. I consulted some cookbooks and Google to see what kind of picnic lunch best compliments water-borne Hepatitis and floating band-aids, and we were off.
But the day was not as relaxing as I had hoped. My first mistake was thinking that a 55lb 8 year-old boy with zero percent body fat could handle a hurricane-grade wave pool. The child is built from bone and muscle and as it turns out those elements do not float well. I spent the entire afternoon frantic, trying to spot his brown-haired head from a throng of other brown-haired heads.
It was terrifying, and every moment I lost sight of him I’d go through the torturous mental exercise of how I’d explain to his father that I’d lost his son “at sea.”
They should rename the “ride” “Kill Your Mom from the Inside!”
My throat was getting hoarse from screaming “DON’T DRINK THE WATER!” but I knew it was time to leave when the kids told me I had to try the park’s zip-line, a horrible looking contraption called “Face Drop.”
I’ve been on that goddamn ride since I was 32.