I have one sibling, a sister, Jen. We are only 15 months apart, and while we fought like cats and dogs when we were younger, we still remain close and happy and she is one of my best friends. As I drove around today running some errands, I was thinking back to my happiest memory of my sister.
Summer 2001. I drove to Amarillo, TX with just our two boys then, ages 2 and almost 1. I was so excited to see her I drove the whole drive in one bleary eyed trip, something like 20 hours. While I don't remember a whole lot about that trip (but I do remember driving all over Texas), I remember this one day.
We got a babysitter for all the kids and we went to an amusement park. Yeah, we leave the kids so we could play like kids. We did the roller coasters and swings and stuff, but the one we spent the most time on was the water slides. Over and over again. It was awesome! Then there was the log ride and you could stand on the top of a bridge and get drenched when the log ride came down the chute. We stood there giggling like idiots until this poor girl that was sitting on the edge of the bridge got hit with a wall of water and her hair got tangled up in Jen's shoe. She thought it was some kind of critter so she was trying to kick it off her shoe until she realized it was the girl's head. We carefully untangled her, made sure the girl was okay and decided that was enough on the bridge with the water waves. Next up: the water slide that drops you straight down.
Let me tell you a bit about our family history. We came from a family that laughed and laughed at each other when we did stupid or embarrassing things. There were moments like taking our dad sledding, laughing like hyenas when he flipped on the sled, but quickly shut up when we saw blood because after he flipped because the sled slid right over his face. Other moments: zipping the dog into my jacket, what we must have looked like trying to ride bikes against 60 mph winds, talking in our sleep, walking in our sleep, fearing snakes in the bathroom (turned out to be a cable cord), and just having clumsy, weird moments.
The Aquatica Tramatica
I love to laugh too, but I was about to draw the line at riding this last water slide. Jen told me it was no big deal, just stay on your toboggan and you'll be fine. Famous. Last. Words.
They give me this flimsy plastic thing to sit on and tell me to keep my feet in. I tell Jen to go first, I want to see how this is done. She survives. Has no problems. I get on mine. I talk myself up..."I can do this, I can do this..."
I CAN'T DO THIS!!!!!!!!
Too late! I'm falling to my death. My feet have somehow escaped the toboggan, I can't breath, I know I'm drowning because water is spraying over my splayed out feet right into my face, I can't open my eyes, I have no idea when the ride is getting done and I think my swimming suit is now is places it wasn't meant to be.
I'm crying, wiping tears and water out of my eyes, disoriented and stumbling around with my swimming suit hiked up. My sister is laughing hysterically at the end of the slide, not breathing, gagging, and she has the attendant laughing at both of us. Oh, good times...good times.
Never again will I do another slide like that.
But every time I think about it, I laugh out loud. I think this is my most favorite memory with my sister. Even as embarrassing as it was, it was still hilarious. We still laugh about it.
In a few weeks, I get to spend a week with my sister again. This time for another water event. She and her family are getting baptized.
The only thing that would make this wonderfully perfect was if we lived closer to each other. But I'll take these summer vacations till then.