Last year, we were lucky; our little guy was just a half inch short of the height requirement necessary to go down the cannonball slide. Kids grow. So, this year, he just made it, and he was excited to put his new height into good use.
Neither my husband nor I have the amusement park/fearless gene (I was born with the easily nauseated, scaredy-cat DNA) so we did not scream yippee! when the top of his head peaked over the red line. I drew the short straw so I was forcibly elected to be the one to take the cannonball-heighted kid down the ride. While my son was excited to take this plunge, deep down — really afraid. So, I had to look strong and enthusiastic about the journey.
Step, step, step, platform, turn, step, step, step, platform, turn, when is this climb going to end? I should have realized it was going to take a long while to get to the top of a 60 foot drop. Trekking up this monstrous slide, gave the rider (me) a ridiculous amount of time to contemplate this decision. By the time I got to the top, I could have been legally committed. I fantasized a pharmacy or drug dealer nearby.
But, I had to snap out of this haze as I had an eager companion, my eight year old kid who just schlepped this heavy toboggan looking sled up an infinite number of steps. (He looked really cute, too). Because of the cloudy weather, when we reached the top, nary a soul was there; with one exception, the waterslide attendant who was reclining on the fold-up chair with his feet lying yet on another chair. He wore aviator sunglasses, had a skin color that could have been named Benjamin Moore summer suntan, and thick black shiny hair. Clearly, he worked out. I assumed he had cool name, like Jake or Luke; and Katie, was one of his many girlfriends.
“Hey, bro, which slide do you want?”
I was trying very hard to control my nerves but I was having trouble breathing from the arduous hike, the Colorado like air quality, and my imminent heart attack. Bro boy was not helping.
“Which slide is the fastest?”
“Bro, both slides are the same.”
With all his might, my offspring lifts his very heavy sled in the groove of the slide. He is ready to go.
“Need some help there, bro?”
Meanwhile, I am frozen, cannot put my sled into the other slide. I take a look at the drop; the path my sled will go. This does not help; I feel my breakfast coming up. The slide will fall straight down, not even a hint of an angle. I’m done. Perhaps, it is time for my child to learn the lesson that you don’t do things that you are not comfortable with. I convince myself that he will find this useful in his teens when he is pressured to try drugs.
“I don’t think I can go down.”
“Well, mom, if you don’t go, I won’t go.” Oy. Bad mommy. I just ruined his joy of reaching cannonball slide height.
Bro-boy came over to me. I whisper to him, “has anyone ever died on this thing?” In a low voice back to me, without the bro and surfer tone, “ I promise, it is very safe. You’ll have a great time.”
With new bro-confidence, I put my sled in the slide and get aboard. My guy gets in his.
“Need a push, bro?”
“You’re not going to push me until I say it’s okay?”
“Hey, bro, it’s my job to make sure you have a good time.”
If I survive this ride, I am going to give this guy a recommendation. And, off we go. I must admit, it was a tremendous amount of fun. And, me and my guy went again. And again.