Skip to main content

A Slide of One's Own

Do you remember what it was like to climb the monkey bars? Or wiggle your way down a slide to quickly turn around and scale back up it faster than you went down? Did you hang upside down from your knees, rock back and forth and flip to end up on your feet, or at least your hands and knees?

We are in Minnesota this week at Andy's childhood home- a beautiful ranch in a quaint suburban neighborhood where one backyard weaves into another like a lush, rolling park. The neighbor's have a swing set and Caroline is learning to hold on to the big swing. She grips the ropes as tightly as she can, pushes her belly out over her knees and tips her head back to feel the wind on her face. We all take turns pushing her as she refuses to get off, unless it is kicking and screaming.

She climbs the stairs of the tree house and waits for Mommy to clumsily follow behind. She sits on my lap and we slip down the slide. Our joint weight allows us to pick up some serious speed and we feel the static shock us. One time, my skirt pulls up and the skin on my leg/hip/butt painfully scrapes as we go down oh so slowly. Caroline hops off and runs back to the stairs. I stumble upright rubbing my butt, ankles and lower back. I'm too old for this. Way too old.

I used to be a pretzel. I'd run, jump, swing and fly through the air with the greatest of ease. I was a monkey with Energizer Bunny batteries fueling my play from morning to night. The flipping and flopping didn't end on land and I delighted in our trips to the lake. "Mom! WAAATCH MEEEE!"I'd cry to my mom who would peer at me after removing the towel from her eyes,"Ohhhh....nice," she'd manage between pages of her trashy romance novel, reapplications of baby oil and cigarettes.

I like the water because it is the only place my body still feels young. I can still back flip, belly flop and do a handstand quite nicely. It's just not that often I get the opportunity. Our days at the lake this summer have been spent on the shoreline. Caroline eats dirt and I attempt to wash it out of her mouth as she grinds it between her teeth. At least we are in the sun and thankfully, unlike my dear, dear mother, I don't have a cigarette in my mouth.

When we are not at the beach, I'm thinking of getting a swing and slide at our house. A short slide. One that I can assist Caroline in sliding down without me having to. Although, maybe if I slide down enough times that extra fat on my legs/hips/butt will just rub off? Nobody said beauty wasn't painful.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I Love Otsego but I Love Andy More

Growing up, my big brother was your typical older brother. He loved to torture me and his favorite hobby was making me mad or making me cry. He took my own stuff and made me buy it back from him at a yard sale. He put dog crap in my socks and sneakers. He threw spit balls at me, pinched me and never let me win at any games. Despite his daily doses of teasing and displeasing me, I did notice that he wasn't particularly interested in other people making me mad or making me cry. I'm not saying he was ready to fight on my behalf, or ride up on a white horse to protect me, but he was pretty firm in his position as the number one bane of my existence. Despite the fact that he no longer tortures me quite like he used to, our relationship has left a lasting impression on me, long into adulthood. As a self proclaimed arm chair therapist, I take note that I have been trying to work through that relationship for years-with Andy. Poor Andy had no idea that, when we started dating, I'…

Holiday Letters- in Two Versions!

I don’t know about you but I love a good holiday letter. Nothing sends me into a tailspin of self doubt and depression like reading the carefully crafted story of the highs and accomplishments of those in my life. As the letters flow in, alongside the photos of the beautiful smiling faces of my loved ones, I curl up under a warm blanket, look out at the bleak, gray winter skies and think: what the fu#k is wrong with me?We are so fortunate, due to modern technological advances, to be able to experience this self doubt an average of 20-50 times per day as we addictively scroll a variety of social media channels. Yet nothing truly confirms our own personal inadequacies like a yearly summary of others’ successes and happiness neatly packed in an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper, folded in thirds and slipped into an envelope alongside a card collage of beach shots, matching sweaters and smiling, happy faces. I, too, have sent along such letters to accompany our smiling happy faces, providing thos…

An Open "PM" to Polly

Hey Polly, it’s me- Melissa. Can I call you Polly? Because I feel like I know you. Do I know you? We’ve been in the same social media circles for many months now.I see from your profile that you went to Cornell. I have a lot of friends that graduated from there. It’s an awesome school. What year did you graduate? I also see that you’re self-employed. I really respect entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs. What’s your business? Are you a photographer because your Facebook profile picture of Doubleday Field is fantastic.I see that you don’t have any Facebook friends, Polly. I understand that. Are you lonely? It can be really lonely around here. Listen Polly, this election got really nasty but at the end of the day are all neighbors right? Do you want to meet, do you want to talk about it? Haven’t seen you on social media since the election. I totally get where you’re coming from, Polly. It’s been hard for me, too. When you put yourself out there with really strong opinions pe…