After the intense emotions of the “Hazel Days,” it is with glee that I steal my friend Heather’s FB post and offer it here. Some of you may remember Heather as our bookstore cleaner who moved to Colorado recently. Her older son, Reese, is a solidly built lad of 11 (who has autism). I would have asked Heather to use this, but in their first week in their new house, they don’t have Internet access yet, except in one corner, stealing wifi from a neighbor for five minutes at a time. And she has to fight three healthy boys (including her husband) to get chair share time. Besides, it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission. (For those of you wanting news of Hazel, she has her own FB page: CLAN Hazel.)
And now, heeeeeeeeere’s Heather!!!!
So…. we are in the pool at the local Y, where there are two giant twisty waterslides. Reese is doing his usual ‘go up to the top, sit down, think about going down, scream, stand up, go back down the stairs’ thing three times in 20 minutes. In a moment of what I NOW know was complete stupidity, I go up the two stories myself and suggest to David he go down the slide to show Reese what it’s like while I stay with Reese at the top.
STUPID. STUPID. STUPID.
Picture this: David is at the bottom of the slide yelling up to Reese how great coming down is. Reese and I are at the top looking waaaay down. I eventually coax Reese into loosening his death grip on the sides of the slide, but I can see that he is not fully prepared emotionally for what is happening, and begin to help him to the stairs when he is caught in the flow. He starts clawing like almighty hell trying to stop the inevitable. He slides down around a bend and tries to stand and … climb… back… up!
David and the YMCA lifeguard are now screaming for Reese to sit down, and we watch him slip to a point on the slide where we can no longer see him at all. He does not come down. The lifeguard motions for me to slide down, find Reese, and help him the rest of the way.
Let me preface this next part by stating that I do NOT like waterslides. In the least.
I grudgingly sit at the top of the slide and start down…
and quickly realize that this water is moving VERY, VERY FAST, and there is no freaking way on heaven or earth I can stop or even slow down. How the hell did Reese stop himself?
I fly around what I feel must be the twentieth bend (in reality there are 5) and there is Reese – standing on the slide against the water flow, gripping the sides, FACING me. I yell for him to hold on as I hit him full force. He lands on top of me, and we smash through the last three bends like wrecking balls to land in the pool, falling to the bottom with such force I swallow and snort what must be a third of the pool’s total liquid volume. I flail myself to the surface like a mad woman, believing my child is quite possibly drowning right in front of me (at the YMCA).
I come up sputtering and choking to find Reese standing in the pool with a look of total surprise on his face. He then slowly breaks into a grin and exclaims, “Oh, yeah!”
Oh, hell no. Never again. Never. Ever.