Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Vacation days

Vacations aren't quite the same now that I'm a mom, and < quote fingers >responsible adult< /quote fingers >. Someone has to pack the bags, make the beds before we leave the cottage, wash the dishes after a meal, and chase Simon out of the cupboard, the fireplace ornaments, the bathroom and all the other unchildproofed surfaces that have been scraped barren in our home.

Even at home on vacation, when I sit out in the backyard with my book, hiding from the boys, there's the faint call of laundry unsorted, paint still in its can, garage decluttering left cluttered. Gone are the days of blissful boredom, when my biggest responsibility was remembering to tan evenly on both sides. (I don't even have the tolerance for the sun I used to have. When I was a teen, I would slather myself in baby oil to tan; now, I covet shady spots and wear hats that give me bad hair.)

But today, today was one of those blissful vacation days that recall the endless summer days of youth. We brought the boys and my parents to Mont Cascades water park. It's not quite the Lake Huron beaches of my childhood, but it's a good second choice.

The boys loved the big pool with the sloping sides, even though the water was somewhere around frigid. Simon was brave and endured a few runs on the baby slide with me, and survived my attempt to drown him by bringing him on one of the larger kiddie slides. (We hurtled down the tube at what must have been Mach 2, and as gravity, centrifigul force and inertia fought to rend us, my mind bellowed, "DON'T LET GO OF THE BABY. DON'T LET GO OF THE BABY! NO MATTER WHAT ELSE HAPPENS, DO NOT LET GO OF THE BABY!!!" Thankfully, my mother was waiting for us at the bottom and rescued a very wet and surprised Simon from my arms as we crashed like a Tsunami into the reservoir and I dropped like a stone. Kiddie slide my ass. That scared me worse than the Vortex, the one that spins you around like a big toilet bowl and flushes you uncerimoniously out the bottom.)

If you go to a water park with preschoolers, bringing extra adults along is an excellent plan. Our ratio of two adults for each preschooler seemed to work perfectly, allowing Beloved and I to try a few of the big slides while the kids splashed with Granny or begged French Fries from Papa Lou.

Sadly, the sunscreen was no match for the brilliant sun and 37C humidex, and Tristan's cheeks, ears and shoulders are looking distinctly lobstery tonight. Well, I got through 3.5 years without a sunburn, that's got to count for something, right? It's not much of a burn and will probably turn tan by morning. I wish I could say the same for Beloved's scalp. Hair loss and bright sun are a cruel couple.

You've been reading about my summer adventures, both in 2005 and 1995. What's been your best summer adventure, this year or ever?