On Friday, we had our first visit to Safari Joe’s H2O water park in Tulsa.
And there, I did it. I did something I said I would never do again.
Well, okay, so it wasn’t exactly the same. I said I’d never take a roller coaster ride again, meaning the usual amusement park fare where you whip around sideways and upside down at a million miles per hour while trying to hold in your last meal until the ride finishes.
I’m too old. These days, all it takes for my adrenaline to start pumping is for the pickup heading toward us at fifty miles an hour to go one inch over the middle line. My optimal level of excitement occurs when a seed I planted actually sprouts.
No, I am not exactly what you would call a thrill-seeker these days.
But at Safari Joe’s, they have what they call a water roller coaster. I wasn’t going to go on it. I told B that I wasn’t going to go on it.
But after the first time he went on it, he started badgering me to try it. Even J told me it wasn’t as fast as I thought it might be.
I think they conspired against me one of the times they were climbing the stairs to take one of the super-high water slides. Which, no, I did not ride on. Been there, done that, don’t need to do it again.
Anyway, here’s how the conversation probably went: “Let’s tell Mommy that the Raptor Rapids ride doesn’t go very fast,” B says, a sly smile crossing his face as he talks to J.
J sniggers. “Yeah.” He doesn’t want to be a bad role model for his son, so he doesn’t say what he’s thinking: Maybe if we can talk her into going, the ride will knock some of her crazy garden ideas out of her, and I can have a break for a couple of months.
And so, the conspirators told me that the ride wasn’t that fast, and I should give it a try.
I should have known better than to listen to a kid who thinks that gory video game scenes are funny. I should have known better than to listen to a husband who once came home with a bleeding nose and a tooth cap knocked off and told me that he wasn’t really hurt.
I should have turned around and walked back down the stairs when I got to the top and saw how fast the beginning of the ride was. How the people in front of me went flying helplessly away on a rushing, white current of water.
But I didn’t. I told myself that I could do it. I told J that the only reason I was willing to try was that I knew I couldn’t fall off the slide – the entire thing is enclosed, either with netting or opaque plastic tunneling.
And so, I did it. I sat down on my tube and went flying. Whirling around in circles at what felt like a hundred miles an hour.
I screamed the whole time, like a teenager at a rock concert. By the time – a blessedly short time – I got to the end, my fingers were tingling from hyperventilation.
I did it.
But I ain’t doing it again.
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. In this case, what didn’t ki*ll me made me a lot more skeptical regarding any ride recommendations my boys might make in the future.