Well, much to my chagrin, I have not been struck down by some weird disease like malaria or the consumption as hoped, and it looks like I will have to head back to Nursing school tomorrow whether I want to or not.
Three days ago I had not been having any symptoms of the aforementioned diseases, so I decided to end the summer with a bang. And if you think I mean I had my roots touched up, you are correct. But that’s not all we did around here! The kids were thrilled when my sister and I met up to go to the Bay on Friday. Normally I hate big crowds and water in the same place—it seems unnatural to me, all those people walking around in swimsuits having conversations about their Christmas plans or what’s on sale this week at King Soopers. I always feel like saying, “Can we just put some clothes on first, and then talk?”
Somehow I managed to suck it up and make the day fun for my kids. For five hours we sat outside watching the kids have the best day ever! Will is six now, and finally can do one of the big slides on his own. He would come down the shoot fast as a bullet, and as he hit the water, he flipped over each time. The first time it happened I yelled at the lifeguard, “Please, you have to help my baby. He’s under the water!”. As the teenager looked my way to see the crazy mother screaming nonsense, Will popped his head up and swam over to the steps as if he’d done it a thousand times. I managed to remain quiet the rest of the day, with the exception of clapping, and a few “thumbs up” when one of our children looked my way.
But wait! We aren’t done with the fun times yet! Our friends Mark and “Fancy Boots” Alicia invited us to spend the day with their family at Carter Lake on their boat. Personally I never pictured us friends with “boat people”--it seemed way above our social status. I told the kids they’d have to act fancy and pretend to be boat savvy, in order to make the day successful. Faith seemed to understand, but this confused the boys and Billy.
The day turned out amazing. Carter Lake is really pretty, and the weather was perfect. Mark laid down the ground rules like, “don’t run to the back of the boat when someone is getting off the inner tube” and “wave the flag” when someone is in the water. I was thrilled there were rules to follow. Mark wore his “Tilly” hat and “Fancy Boot’s” wore her boating hat as well. Billy, who looked ridiculous without a hat, and I listened as Mark explained things about boating like Zebra Mussels and pretended to understand boat culture, while knowing we’ll never be smart enough to learn how to unload a boat into water. All of this was okay with us, as we watched all three of our children in the inner tube having the time of their lives!
Jack seemed tentative on the tube, but you could tell he wanted to love it. His smile spread from ear to ear as he bounced a long. He’d motion for more speed, and then unashamedly beg for Mark to slow down! Faith is on constant quest for adventure. She wanted more speed, more bumps, more excitement, which scared Billy and I to death. She never gave the thumbs down signal asking Mark to slow the boat, only thumbs up. Will also loved the inner tube. He began with great excitement, laughing and screaming with joy, but after five minutes of bouncing over the waves, he’d clutch his head and make a sad face. Despite a few small headaches, he kept asking for turns on the tube, and we let him go, hoping we weren’t destroying precious brain cells. You only live once, right?
Tomorrow morning I will wake up early and head back to my second semester of Nursing School. I will put on a brave face for my kids, knowing that two out of three of them feel the same way about school as I do. I want to show them that I’m not a quitter, and that even though I’m scared of what I will face, I can reach my goal of becoming a nurse. Before I walk out the door, I’ll ask Billy to pray for me, and the five of us will tightly hold hands as we ask for God’s constant protection and guidance over our lives. Then they’ll remind me how much they love me, and I’ll remind them I am so proud of who they are becoming. I might cry a little, but not for long. It’ll time to get going. Time to get learning. Time to face this mountain, and start climbing.