“Momma, are you going to put on your huge, blue swimming suit?”
Huge? Large perhaps, but surely not huge!
To her credit, she didn’t say humongous, which was the “word on the street” the last time she watched Sesame Street. But huge, really…
Of course, she also insists that I am 22 years old, which in her mind is really, really old.
My husband and I took a couple of days off work and headed up to the Dells to a family-friendly water park with our daughter. Water is not her element, and she was quite timid, but she had a good time anyway, judging from the giggles and smiles that our camera caught.
It was fun seeing the water park and the Dells through the eyes of a child. Things that I take for granted or see as incredibly cheesy, she enjoys, and because of the laughter in her eyes and amazement on her face, I enjoy it too—seeing things from a different perspective, clearing the jaded, ho-hum cataracts that adult life sometimes gives me.
On our first night at the lodge, we attended an animatronics story time. My thought was that the story teller wasn’t super talented. My controls engineer-husband’s first comment to me was that their animatronics needed a controls engineer. We thought it was cheesy and that our daughter wouldn’t be interested in attending the story time for the rest of our stay. Were we wrong! Our daughter asked about story time every night. Where we had seen room for improvement, she saw talking beavers and squirrels, a French boy fur trader, a Native American girl, and a talking wolf whose hand she could shake and fur she could hug.
Her favorite water activity wasn’t any water slide. She liked the fountains that popped up periodically in the toddler pool, amazed by how they felt against her hands and legs and stomach. And, when the fountains weren’t bubbling, there were always squirters to “get” Mom and Dad with. She didn’t need the adrenalin rush of a fast slide, gentle streams of water from a flower sprinkler were sufficient for her.
And her powers of observation amazed when we walked into the part of the water park that sported The BIGGGG Bucket. She spotted the giant wooden bucket near the ceiling immediately, harkened when the bell rang, and watched with interest several times as it spilled over soaking everything and everyone in its path.
Pretty soon when the bell would ring she would announce, “The BIGGG BUCKET!” and run to a position just outside the reach of the water and watch with fascination as the water spilled. She pulled ropes and turned handles to see what would happen, exploring and letting her curiosity and innocence lead the way to an incredible sensory experience.
Every experience was tasted as if it was a delicacy. Even the hour or so we spent at a local play ground, where she climbed and swung and slid down playground equipment that was no different from that she has to play on everyday, was a special treat.
We didn’t go very far. No magical kingdoms or exotic locales. Just the Dells, a couple of hours up the road. But I was transported far away from my everyday life thanks to a little girl who showed me how to look at things from a new perspective.
Now it’s off to the treadmill to do something about that huge swimming suit…
© 2010 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.