Time to toe the line

0 Flares Filament.io Made with Flare More Info'> 0 Flares ×

On the last day of our summer vacation, we went to a water park in Kansas City. When we arrived, we dropped our beach towels on lounge chairs and took off for one of the smaller slides so we could “warm up” before we tackled the big scary ones. The first slide was a brisk but gentle ride on an inner tube through a series of twists and turns.

“That was awesome! Mom, let’s go do the next slide,” my son said when we splashed down out of the slide.

“Sure!” I said and then launched myself out of the inner tube and into what I thought was waist-high water. It turned out to be less than knee-deep — a jarring shock to one of my toes which hit the bottom of the pool with cringe-worthy force. I didn’t yelp or mention it to my kid who was already dragging his inner tube out of the water and up the hill toward the next slide.

The toe silently but painfully protested my decision to “walk it off.” I was determined not to be a lame old lady who had to sit down because she stubbed her toe. After a few hours, we’d crisscrossed the water park, taking on every slide except for one. We’d saved the biggest, tallest, scariest slide for last.

The slide’s name is Verruckt, a German word that means “insane.” It’s the tallest waterslide in the world, and the boys and I wanted the bragging rights of riding it. While we stood waiting in line, that angry stubbed toe changed from flesh-colored to bluish purple. Then it started to swell to something shaped less like a toe and more like a sausage link.

I pointed to it and asked Tom if he thought it might be broken instead of stubbed. He took one look and grimaced. “Broken,” he confirmed. “Maybe you should go sit down.”

But the kids and I had come too far. We were next in line to slay the dragon, and I was sure I could do it as long as I walked on the outside edge of my foot as we climbed the steps to the tallest slide.

Somewhere around the 100th stair, I began doubting the wisdom of my decision. By the 200th stair, I desperately wanted to stop but knew we’d come too far to turn back. By the last stair, the 284th one, we saw a sign that said we had climbed to the same height as Niagara Falls. I would have marveled over that fact but I was too busy hating myself for being an idiot who walked up 284 steps on a broken toe.toe2

Even though the slide looked terrifying from that height, it was less scary than the thought of more stairs. Attendants at the top of the ride strapped us into a raft and sent us down the nearly vertical drop. We screamed the whole way down, and Tom snapped our picture as the raft neared the bottom, proof we’re truly as “insane” as the slide itself.

Afterward, I hobbled over to a lounge chair where I took Advil for the rest of the day and Googled first aid for a broken toe. Part of me wondered if it was a sign of old age and brittle bones. Part of me figured it was just an ungraceful hop out of an inner tube followed by foolish bravado. Either way, it didn’t matter. We came, we saw, and we conquered.

Sometimes a mom has to show the kids and herself that she can really “toe the line.”

0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Pin It Share 0 Email -- Filament.io 0 Flares ×