Wet ‘n’ Wild finally started offering their season pass for the price of a single-day admission so you know what that means: we’ll be driving out to the water park at least twice a week for the rest of summer. That’s not a bad thing, as it does add another water-based activity to our rotating list of rec center, beach, the rec center at the top of the hill, one of those other rec centers in Mililani Town, and the bathtub.
Though Madison’s been to the water park dozens of times, today was actually a day of firsts for her. She’d been bugging us about going to the water park since before the summer started. I think she had a few things on her mind, new things she wanted to try out. She didn’t waste any time. A little less than a year later, she was able to walk across that faux log they’ve got in the big kid area. She was finally tall enough to grab a hold of the cargo net hanging overhead. She was a little slow at first – I think it took her a little while to coordinate her walking with her grasping – but she quickly made the adjustment and got across to the other side. “You did it!” I said. “I couldn’t do it before, but I can do it now!” she said. I held out my hand for a high-five, but she was already moving toward her next conquest. Well, then.
Madison also slid down the pink slide in the big kids’ section all by herself. I was curious whether she’d actually try for it, but I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised because she’s been so brave and pro-active about trying new things and meeting new challenges. When I saw her rip around the first turn for the first time, I had the camera ready, but didn’t take a picture. I was too concerned about her landing. I watched her disappear into the pool. A few moments later, I saw the top of her head break the surface. Her eyes opened and she found me. She bounced her way toward me. After that, I went with her a few times, but eventually let her go to do her own thing. I kept my eye on her, but this was the first time I let her move around without hovering in her immediate area. It really is hard to let go in this way, but they gotta learn. Besides, I’d rather it this way.
One of the few really bad things about Wet ‘n’ Wild is the kids whose parents don’t give a crap what they’re doing. These kids are the ones who are in places they don’t belong doing things they shouldn’t be doing. Worst of all, these are the kids who cut in the lines. There was one kid in particular today who kept rushing to the top of the slides, then cutting in line, at times completely disregarding the ride attendant. I watched it happen three separate times. I told his mother that he had been cutting in front of all the other kids. “I know. He doesn’t it every single time,” she said with a tone of resignation. And then she did nothing. I mean, if you don’t give a damn about the way your kid behaves, that’s one thing. But if his or her behavior is affecting other people? C’mon. Be an adult.
My own favorite of Madison’s personal firsts today came in the Kapolei Kooler (lazy river). Before we even parked the car, Madison asked if she could ride her own tube in the Kooler. “Mom says I’m big enough now,” she said, as if to sanction this activity. I wanted to tell her “I don’t need your mom’s permission to do things,” but I try my very best to tell Madison the truth. “Sounds like a plan,” I said, which ironically is exactly what I tell Lynnette whenever I disagree with her idea, but simply lack the energy to argue and/or formulate one of my own. I’ve said too much.
Anyway, Mad was juuuuuust long enough to dip her behind into the doughnut hole while her back and legs kept her from sinking into it. It was all fun and games until the waterfalls. I’m no physicist so here’s what I think happened: I think that Madison was too light for the current to push her through the waterfalls because the weight and force of the water was stronger than the current. Because of Mad’s physical positioning, she could not kick off the river bed or push off the walls. Instead, she got caught directly under the waterfall, more or less getting waterboarded in the process. She screamed for me and there was real terror in her voice. I pulled her out of there (after snapping a few choice photos) and she was fine. “What happened?” I asked. “That waterfall was too powerful,” she said, wiping her face. I love when she talks like that. I asked if she wanted to go around again. She didn’t. But I have no doubt we’ll do it again very soon.