Illustration courtesy of Ruth Pickering
Prior to our summer holiday one year, my nephews were talking excitedly about a new ride at a water park. They both told me it was such fun that I needed to go on it when we visited the park a few weeks later.
As soon as we got to the water park we spied the new ride. It looked fairly high, you sat in a rubber ring and got pushed down the slide a bit like a boomerang. You kept going up and down until you eventually came to a halt. My boys raced to the top yelling, “Come on Mum.” I hadn’t quite realised how high or how steep or how fast you went until I got to the top. My youngest nephew had done this ride! I couldn’t go back home and tell them I had wimped out.
My major panic was falling out of the ring, so my logic told me to wedge myself firmly into the ring, then there was absolutely no possibility I could fall out. What I hadn’t taken into account was that my bottom would be touching the slide as I went down. Once wedged inside the ring, there was nothing I could do and as I was tipped over the edge I realised my huge mistake.
I wasn’t going to fall out but my bottom was literally burning as I went back and forth on the slide. Hugely relieved, firstly that I had conquered the ride and secondly that I hadn’t fallen out. I hated to admit it but I was actually in a large amount of pain. Deciding, with all the people at the bottom watching I couldn’t admit to the pain, I delicately unwedged myself from my rubber ring, trying to hold back the tears. With a fixed grin hiding the pain I walked or hobbled back to my boys who were waiting for me at the bottom.
It was at that point I realised not only had a burnt a hole in my bikini bottoms but actually burnt my bottom. I had to walk back to my sun bed with one child in front and the other behind hiding the tattered bikini bottoms. That was the end of my water park rides that day. Back at home I told my nephews that I done the ride and how proud they should be of me. They both grinned and laughed and chose that moment to tell me, it had been way too high and fast for them and they were only joking, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry but I do know I still have the scars to prove I did conquer the ride!