I said yes even though I usually say no to going to the water/amusement park with my husband and kids.
I said yes because they are growing up at warp speed right now.
I said yes because I am growing up at warp speed right now.
Say yes, I thought. I didn’t think about the fact that things could grow wrong and I might wish I had said no.
Maybe it’s because lately I’ve been kicking regret in her annoying shins.
So I said yes even though we spent yesterday having a perfect 4th of July and I didn’t want to mess with perfection. A quiet 5th of July with a book in my lap seemed smart, but going to the water/amusement park with our closest friends pushed me out of my comfort zone. Why not? You only live once. In my head, lately, I hear an annoying voice that says, “Hey lady, you’re 45.”
That voice might as well be saying, “Embrace the contradictory nature of life already, lady. “
So I did. I put on the too-small bathing suit and so much mineral sunscreen that my family made fun of me all day long. Dude, I did not get burned.
I laughed as I floated down the slides. My husband challenged me to go down the slide that shoots you out airborne for maybe 1 second before you hit the water. I said yes. He loved hearing me scream before I shot out the slide. Whoosh. I’m 45.
And I watched my older daughter rush headlong into adventure while I held my youngest daughter’s hand while we waited in the tame water slide lines. That was comfort.
Then I said yes to a ride that would spin me sideways while the wheel rolled fast. I knew my weak stomach and inner ear balance issues called for a no. But the 14-year-old friend who asked me, well, I say yes a lot to her.
Usually I’d make an object lesson out of an event I say yes to that ends so badly. I mean, the 14-year-old consoled me as I shook my eyes shut and held myself as still as possible while sweat poured fast from every sunscreen clogged pour of my body. But I didn’t have much time to berate myself, since next we lost my husband. Or my teen lost her dad or her dad was too warm and became too worried and searched in the wrong direction for us. All I know is soon enough I was in panic attack land. Though I did my best to stay calm, by the time I saw him across the way walking toward us in his Teva sandals, my stomach roiled hard and I cried fast out both eyes, and everyone in my family knew I was the one who needed babying now.
Still, I said yes to practicing breathing and saying to myself, yup, you are having a panic attack but it’s not your fault. It’s your body. Your body is stressing out, so maybe being nice is the best road to travel. I said no to beating myself up. Oh, I had my moments as I sipped my Sprite, sitting on an old wooden railing under the shade of a tiny tree. I thought, if only I hadn’t ridden that ride, or maybe if I hadn’t pictured my husband dead from a heart attack and what I would do after I found out he was dead, maybe I would be someone who is not me. Who had a major win by simply saying no to regret when I started second guessing what lead me to the panic attack. Because, WTF, life is lived forward, people. I already was too hot and my stomach was like a boat being tossed in a hurricane and I already had the panic attack, and my husband didn’t have a heart attack. He bought me a Sprite and rubbed my back and then handed me the locker key once breathing wasn’t a full time task.
Yes, I’m not adventure girl. I’m the girl that said yes to a ride that turned her green, then lost her husband and imagined the worst. Because I’m good at that. My imagination is dark, folks. There’s no object lesson here. I can’t say my girls learned some great thing while watching me go from sick to almost OK under the sickly shade at the too-hot water park. They just watched me again be myself, and know that I eventually made it back to the pretty OK mom with the zombie style sunscreen under the 25-year-old sun hat walking in the too small swimsuit back to the locker to call the end of the Yes day at the water/amusement park.