Friday, July 10, 2015

5 Thoughts on a Waterpark

Since Bo was about two years old, we have been going to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels.  It has become a family tradition of sorts.  We skipped going there the last two years because of other vacations and busy Summers.  Though we enjoyed the other experiences very much, we realized how much we truly missed going to Schlitterbahn.  Maybe taking a break for the last couple of years helped us enjoy our time there even more this year.  This year I walked away with five personally important thoughts.

1.  I don't have a bikini body...
I dread having to go to a water park in a bathing suit.  I know there are many people who go and could care less about what anyone else is saying about their figure.  I wish I was like that.  Unless everything on my body is still in the shape it is suppose to be in and holding up like it is suppose to be, you won't find me in an itsy bitsy bikini.  Thumbs up to the ladies who can still rock them.  It impresses me to see the 40 year old woman still looking beast mode in one and I truly admire their commitment to staying in shape.  I know as you get older keeping the fat off just gets harder.  So when I see someone older who has an extremely fit figure I can't help but applaud them.  But in saying all of that, I know that my kids don't think any less of me.  There I am in my mom bathing suit top with swim shorts to cover my back side and a visor to top it off.  I make some comment about me being fat and Bo sweetly tells me how beautiful I am.  That gives me the confidence to keep walking around in my mom suit.  But it also makes me want to work harder for the better body.  Overall, I want to just be in shape.  I want a healthy heart.  Since I have been working out again, I realized that walking and climbing stairs is much easier.  I want to be healthy so that I can continue to enjoy the waterpark with my kids for many more years to come.  Yes I want the perfect body but I just can't commit to giving up that chocolate candy I love so much.  Did I mention I had ice cream three nights in a row?  Cheers to mom tops, swim shorts and visors!

2.  I still have maternal instincts...
I can honestly say that each year as my boys get older, the waterpark has gotten easier.  When we started Bo was still in a pull up.  Now that both of my boys can ride every ride and can swim with ease, things are much more enjoyable.  Several years ago we had a scare with Bo.  He had learned to swim but wasn't a strong swimmer.  We were at the 3rd park in Schlitterbahn which has a fast flowing river.  He was in a tube and I held on to his tube.  Bryan convinced me to let Bo go and that he would be fine.  So I let go.  I got turned around for a second and Bryan had his eyes solely on Christian.  In a flash we couldn't find Bo.  I don't usually panic but a rush of emotions came over me.  Bryan went around the river and I was frantically swimming towards the entrance of the river.  I finally see Bo and noticed he had jumped out of his tube and was headed towards the entrance so he could get out.  But since he wasn't a strong swimmer and the current was swift, he was going under.  I yelled to a lady to help him and she grabbed him for me.  After chewing him out, I remember being overcome with relief and thankfulness that he was ok.  This year he was fully capable of going without a tube on the same torrent river.  So we let him go around with Christian while Bryan and I took our time going around.  After the first lap, I asked Bryan if he saw them.  He hadn't seen them. So I stopped where I was and waited until they came around in my eye sight.  Something in me, something maternal just comes out.  I wanted to know that Bo was ok.  I knew he had his older brother with him but I wanted to put my eyes on him.  I wasn't moving forward until I knew things were under control.  I can't help but think this is how God is with us.  He lets us go into tough currents at times.  He knows we can swim but His eye never leaves us.  He is watching and if we need help he will be there to lift us up.  He is our Father.  And mothers and fathers always look out for their kids.

3.  There is still a chance you will get burned...
With all of the increase in cases of skin cancer, we know that it is necessary to apply sunscreen.  Christian and I have a brown layer already so we don't normally burn in the sun.  We just keep getting darker.  Bo is light skinned but will get a bronze color in the Summer.  And then there is Bryan. He is the pale one in the family.  We all made sure that we applied sun screen.  Though I have never had a sun burn, I have seen Bryan and Bo both in that state and we didn't want that to happen again.  The first day at the park was overcast so our skin survived with little sun.  The second day the sun was fierce.  We reapplied a few times to ensure we were all protected.  When we got back to the hotel, Bryan knew that he was burned.  Sure enough he was red all over.  He took every precaution to prevent it and yet it still happened.  Did we not re apply often enough?  Did we not use a good brand of sun screen?  Who knows?  Bottom line is he is dealing with a sun burn.  Thank God for Aloe Vera!  As silly as it may seem, I can't help but relate it to life.  Sometimes you can do everything to prepare.  Sometimes you will take every step to make sure things turn out right.  And even though you do what you can you still may get burned.  People will hurt you.  You won't get the promotion or the position you want.  You will be taken advantage of and feel unappreciated.  But again thank God that He can soothe the burn.  He will give you the courage to forgive.  He will open other doors that no one else can.  He will show you how special you are and will encourage you to step out again. The burn is only temporary.  Take time to soothe the burn but then get back out and enjoy the sun again.

4.  Compromise for those you love...
I am so relieved that we are past all of the kiddie park areas.  Yes the little toddlers are so cute in their little diapers and swim suits.  But come on!  How many times can you sit there and watch them go down the same little mushroom slide?  Ok maybe some of you can but I don't have that much patience.  We had done just about every ride in all three parks and were ready to call it a day.  Bo wanted to go and do the little rope obstacle course in one of the small kid areas.  Reluctantly we all went and sat in the 3 ft. deep water and waited for him to have his turn.  He had about five kids in front of him.  It seemed like the line took forever but we all made sure we kept our eye on Bo.  He was checking to see if all three of us were watching.  It was his moment.  It is what he wanted to do.  He is the youngest and he gets pulled everywhere we want to go.  We owed it to him to do what he wanted to do.  So there we all three sat amongst all the little kids waiting for our boy to get his turn.  When he was done we all smiled and complimented him.  His smile was enough for me.  When you love someone, you have to compromise.  It isn't all about you.  What makes them happy?  It may be small to you but it could mean the world to them.  We often get caught up in leading our lives that we forget there is someone there following.  Though they may not complain and follow contently, stop and ask where they want to go.  They may just take you on a journey that you have never been on.  Get a glimpse into their dreams.  See what makes them smile.  Their smile could bless you in so many ways.  A little bit of compromise can lead to a whole lot of blessing.

5.  Embrace the moment...
Bryan and I gave the kids a choice this year of taking one friend each on the trip or just going as a family.  To our surprise they chose for us to just go as a family.  Bryan and I embraced the fact that this may be the last time they like hanging out with just us.  It was so refreshing just having our two boys with us.  We talked, we laughed, and we argued like a family.  We talked about how it won't be like this forever.  Friends and girlfriends will probably tag along at some point.  Don't get me wrong, I love having people with us.  But I cherished the fact that we could still enjoy our time together as a family of four.  My boys actually got along for the most part.  They acted like brothers.  Every ride was a competition.  Who would finish first?  Whose tube could get in front of the other?  I know girls will come a long at some point and that is perfectly fine.  Although I can't imagine Bryan around a girl.  He is way too protective and just looking at all the young girls in their bathing suits at the water park, I am afraid Bryan would want to completely keep her locked up and covered up.  Only time will tell.  I think Bryan and I smiled the whole time because this trip was refreshing.  Our heart is just so full of love for our two boys.  When I sit back and watch them I can see myself and Bryan in them.  Each night we ate dinner we prayed as usual over our meal.  I couldn't help but give thanks to God for giving us this time together.  This is time we won't get back.  All through the park I saw people with phones, go pros and selfie sticks.  Though I thought it would be cool to capture some pictures, I was glad to be able to have the memories embedded in my heart and soul.  Embrace the moment.

You may think it is silly that I got all of this from a waterpark.  But I like learning life lessons through experiences.  I can't help but smile and be thankful that we were able to take time out and enjoy each other with no distractions.  I love seeing God in everything.  I love knowing that He is with us wherever we go.  Now it is back to work and back to schedules.  Bills are still coming in and responsibilities still have to be fulfilled.  For a moment though, we were able to laugh, lay back on a tube, and just enjoy the ride.

"My head is under water but I am breathing fine"

Thank you Lord!