Unrealistic expectations can lead to some hearty life lessons. Believe me, I know … Last week heard myself say, “SURE, I’ll take seven grandchildren to Seabreeze Amusement Park all by myself!”
It didn’t even occur to me to rethink things when I had to borrow a van to cart them all - and - I heard the weather report that it was going to be dangerously hot for senior citizens. (I’m not one of those!)
What was I thinking? I was about to drag my 70-yr old body into a black top jungle in 97 degrees, carting enough food and water for seven savages, while maneuvering around hundreds of hyper-kids followed by hot, irritated grown-ups who didn’t want to be there either! All for the great expectation of summer fun.
AT the entrance, I watched two weeks worth of grocery money past through my fingers, then they banded my wrist. (that’s in case you try to escape and realize you left a kid behind and have to get back inside.)
The big kids took off in different directions. My six year old was NOT happy. He wanted to go with them, but they were going on the "big-guy" rides. Great, thanks for saying that boys. All I heard was he was too hot, too thirsty, his flip-flops were too big, he was too short for the big rides and the kiddie rides were too insulting.
“Hey, let’s go on …” NO! “Why not try …” NO! After walking the entire park to find something he wanted to do, my sweet beginnings began to sour.
“LOOK,” I barked, wiping sweat out of my eyes. “I DIDN’T PAY THAT TO DO THIS! WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE HAVING FUNNNNNN!” At which point, he decided he didn’t like me anymore.
We finally ended up at the wave pool. Cool at last. I hovered nervously over him as the waves pounded against his little body. Uh, did I say pounded? I'm gonna hurt tomorrow! But, he was in his bliss. I felt strangely triumphant. Happy at last!
(I never did find out what the lifeguard, wearing rubber gloves, was searching for in the shallow end)
An older sibling came along and my six year old went with him. So, I had a window just for me. To the lounge chair? NO! I went to the deep end of the pool to wait for the waves. The horn blasted… a hundred people screamed and ran into the pool … and the waves started to roll.
There I was … Grandma, bobbing with the big bobbers. This is gonna be fun, I thought ... but, wait ... they're not gonna get this big are they? I didn’t expect the waves to come so fast! Hold it, I’m not ready yet … then another wave … sputter… then another … gulp …gasp!
As my life passed before my eyes, a spark of determined rose within me. There was no way I was going to meet my Maker in a wave pool at an amusement park. I struggled towards the shallow end, and by the grace of God, and one fat guy, I got my footing. The lifeguard sat back down, and I limped to my chair.
As I sat dazed and nauseous at the side of the pool, the kids rushed over. They’d seen the whole thing and soon I was enveloped in sticky, warm hugs. "Mimmy almost drowned!"
I was so ready to leave … but … wait … I suddenly heard myself say, “Sure, we can stay longer.”