It is spring break week. If I had a dollar for every time I heard "We are the ONLY ones not going ANYWHERE!" from my kids, I could buy Mexico...not a trip to Mexico, but the whole f-ing country. So the parental guilt kicked in and my husband and I decided to take the kids on a surprise local trip to a water park resort.
I have goosebumps again just thinking about it...not because of the thrill of the rides, or the rush of excitement, but from the idea that I brought home multiple germs, viruses and bacteria that the CDC would love to put in a petri dish. Because water parks spell out hours upon wet hours of excitement for my kids, but to me, they are the cesspool of America. This less-than-favorable qualification is not due to the patrons that think that 350 pounds of flesh shoved into stretchy swimsuit fabric is acceptable. Nor is it anything against those with more body-art than Don Ed Hardy himself. It is just the pure idea that this is the breeding ground for so many bad, bad things to happen.
First of all, kids and crowds drive me crazy. Ask any mother what is the quickest way to send her into cardiac arrest and she will tell you the story about how she was at the County Fair and watched her 6 year old get off a ride and go out the gate on the OPPOSITE end of where she patiently stood with her camera waiting for him...as he melted into a crowd of strangers. Now add water. I was a wreck wondering where my children were the whole time; and they were never that far from me. I wanted them to wear matching swimsuits, have a code word, family meeting spot and a check-in time at 15 minute intervals, but that was not met with unanimous applause. I was actually the only "yes" vote. But my kids are good swimmers, are very aware of "Stranger Danger" and altogether responsible, so that was the least of my worries. I wanted a HazMat suit to swim in to protect us all from what might be lingering in these viral greenhouses, but that was not a great idea either (at least I could spot them from across the park). Just thinking about it makes me want to drink Lysol. Sitting in wet chairs where other wet swimsuits sat. Walking in wet footsteps where other wet feet walked. Sitting on wet inner tubes where other wet....BLAGCH!! I am swallowing vomit as I think about it. Don't even get me started on the bathrooms...wet, wet, wet...and how can you be sure it is all water??? Ever thought of that? And people, any body hair that resembles a sweater vest is just overkill. And hot tubs? I threw up in my mouth when I accidentally touched a stranger's foot under water. I hate feet as it is. I hate stranger's feet more....wet feet. And we learned in 8th grade health class - "hot" causes bacteria and "tubs" are for cleaning....so, I am no genius but you are swimming in a swirling pool of fungal glory. Oh wait, that is right. If you have ever sat in a public hot tub, there are enough chemicals in there to rival Chernobyl. I was punched in the face with the noxious smell of chlorine the moment the hotel slapped on our wristbands. Am I spelling ok? Because I am dictating this to my neighbor's 4 year old because everyone in my family is blind from the three-day's worth of chlorine. My lungs fell out when we got home, my eyes are the size and texture of bad raisins and my skin feels like find grade sand paper. Oh, and I can no longer hear from the deafening sound of screaming children, the thunderous rushing water, and the fake jungle animal sounds piped through the speakers at 32 decibels to complete the "authentic jungle vacation" experience. Ahhh....vacation. This cost us how much? We paid for this? But the kids had a blast. When my eyesight comes back I will love looking at them...the pictures and the kids. Next year I am springing for the beach vacation.