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Kismet at the Waterpark

Today my daughter turned 16. We decided to mark the occasion by going to a water park. While TV tells me real parents spend copious amounts of money hosting a lavish affair for a daughter’s 16th birthday, I am not a TV mom. So I thought (and my daughter seemed to agree with) that a fun-filled romp in bikinis on a hot summer day withfriends would suffice. It was a carefully orchestrated event. I had to rent a van to fit the required celebratory friends. I had to make sure my math oriented daughter could limit the riders to fit the number of seat belted seats in the van. And luckily the day fell on my day off for as a working mother, having her birthday fall on my weekend day off was kismet.
Of course things did not go exactly as planned. For one my daughter noted that it would be more fun if the night before she could have friends sleep over including those that would be unable to attend the water park extravaganza. My solution to a fun-filled but little effort on my part event, was now going to require some food preparation, additional cost, support and tolerance from my husband and younger daughter. Luckily the sleepover turned out to be fun and tolerable by parental standards.
The next day after an hour long drive, we arrived at the water park where we were all appropriately wrist banded as designated park users. In the role of chauffer, I let the girls have fun while I went my own way. Fifty year old mom rode the Viper carrying my tube up the stairs and standing amongst excited 8 year old little boys. The Viper was faster and scarier than I expected, but fun as the intent of these rides is. I mostly spent my time in the Lazy River floating round and round in the “river” like the lazy person I was supposed to emulate.
As the day ended, I alerted all the young ladies that it was time to re-load the van and head for home. As a dutiful chauffer, I retrieved the car and moved it closer to the park entrance lest the princesses have to walk far, and to allow the carriage to cool off. In doing so, I was out the entrance first where the grandmotherly attendant who had checked us in asked if I wanted my wristband cut off. I blew by her quickly waving off the need for her scissors. Afterall the girls would be coming out soon no doubt proudly retaining their wristbands as notations of their day of fun. With my wristband firmly in place, I too could share in this notoriety. To my disappointment they came out wrists naked because they were after all 16 (or close to) and not in need of childish reminders of their foray for the day.
I don’t know; I liked my badge of courage. Its lavender color complemented my tanned skin and silver watch. Hadn’t I earned my badge of courage for the day negotiating traffic with the pulsing beat of hip hop tunes played at ear splitting volume! Hadn’t I stood in 90 degree weather with those excited 8 year old boys! Hadn’t I worn a one piece in a land of bikinis!
As I now contemplated my lone wristband, it suddenly hit me how ironic that 16 years ago I had also been wrist banded for the birth of said daughter. It was the hospital’s effort to make sure that she and I remained identified as belonging together at the birthing process. Don’t I still have it in my keepsake drawer? Now my water park wristband held even more significance for me. I cherished it; it was a divine reminder of the birth day 16 years ago. And as I drove home to the pulsating music at ear splitting volume levels, I was happy I had kept my wrist band on. I’m thinking I’m going to add it to that keepsake drawer when I get home.

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