It’s been unusually warm for October. Upper 90s F. So, I took the kids to the outdoor pool at the health club we belong to but never go to. They have one of those twisty, serpent water slides that’s too big for the little guys. But of course, my swimmer, wants to go down the slide. Nope — the rule is, you have to be 45 inches to go down. He didn’t believe me, so, I took his hand, and walked over to the lifeguard and said, “Could you please explain to my son why he can’t go down the slide?”
The lifeguard said, “You can take him down with you.”
Me? I haven’t gone down a water slide in years. And I prefer to keep it that way. But the lifeguard’s words were already out. And my son heard them. And my reluctant kindergartner, who is afraid of everything wanted to go too, suddenly. The lifeguard was wrong. He was new. I know the rules at this pool — and this was not one of them.
I was in an unusually good mood. Maybe because I couldn’t get it out of my head that it was October, and I was at the pool with sunglasses, sunscreen and a bathing suit. And I was really hot. Temperature, I’m talking about. And, really, it’s kind of like a little gift. Like, no you can’t stop time, and you can’t catch a breath, but, you get this second-chance at summer. To do it right — to do all those things that you wish you had done and didn’t do; like make fresh lemonade everyday, catch butterflies and weave a hair wreath out of dandelions. (Sounds nice, but probably not very practical.) The stuff you think about when it’s cold and rainy in October.
So, I took the five and four year old down the slide. At the same time. One more time. And one more time. And another one more time. (I finally had to stop and ask them, “do you know what one more time means? It means the LAST ONE. They didn’t know, but they promised this would be the last one.) We were a train, my arms gripped around both of them. They held their arms up every time and screamed as if they were riding a roller coaster. And, as we neared the water, I gripped tighter, and kept us all up; nobody went under the water. Boy, did we laugh. Because it’s such a surprise; every time. We gain momentum in the slide, and we are all so amazed that none us went under every time.
I know what you’re thinking. You’ll get stuck in the slide. You won’t be able to crouch down into the little tunnel once you make it to the top of the stairs. And you’ll go under water and loose your contacts. But you won’t. It will be fine. Really. You’ll have lots of fun. I really, didn’t think it would be that fun. But it really, really was. My belly jumped, just like I was ten again. And my skin smells like chlorine. Just a little reminder of my second-chance day.
Oh, and this latest update from my little swimmer, in the video here. He does 360s now. When he stands on the side of the pool, and jumps into the water and swims to you; right before he grabs you, he flips under water and does a 360. He’s a riot.