Mama, Go Down the Slide This Summer

I could hear their conversation from the shallow end of the pool.

“No way she will do it. Mom never goes down slides.”

“Yeah, no way she would do that.”

My middle two children were in full agreement: Mom would never go down that slide.

And why would they think I would?

That slide is a symbol for absolute, carefree fun.

And let’s take the super-mom social media filter off here for a sec: my kids rarely see me as carefree and “fun.”

They see the mom who is in her home office at all hours of the day and night…when she’s not confined to those four walls, her computer and paperwork is strewn across the kitchen, bedrooms and even in the mud room.

They see the mom who has a phone glued to her face, responding to the other person on the line with phrases like, “are you kidding me? This is not ok! We will get him. The laws have to change immediately.”

They see the mom who grabs her phone at every ding, beep or tweet to try and respond to the nearly 100 daily messages.

They see the mom who has to high-jump over the mountain of clothes and mess that continues to grow in each of their rooms.

They see the mom who hides in the laundry room because she literally can’t believe there are more baskets to be folded. Again.

They see the mom trying to get everyone loaded in the mom-taxi to take them to soccer, softball, gymnastics and everything in between. “Hurry! We’re late” is repeated 27 times before we leave the driveway.

They see the mom who actually loses her mind when trying to pack for a fun family vacation.

They see the mom who never stops moving.

They see the mom who looks serious. A LOT.

I thought about going to the edge of the water to explain to them how I used to be FUN but adulting comes with so many responsibilities.

Instead, I went to the edge and asked, “you think I won’t go down that, huh?”

“NO WAY!!”

At that moment, I reverted back into my ornery ways and said, “watch me.”

Although making that long trek up those stairs reminded me of how old I am (particularly my knees)…that trip on the way down reminded me that it’s ok to stop adulting for a second.

With every quick, whipping turn down that slide, I literally let out a belly laugh and scream. I didn’t realize how much I needed it. I needed to be reminded of what it feels like to be carefree.

When I shot out at the bottom of the slide, my kids were there waiting for me. The expressions on their face? It was like they saw Santa Claus.

“MOM!!! I can’t believe you did that! That was awesome!”

As parents, we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. A lot of our stress is self-induced…we try to make everything perfect for our kids, don’t we??

When all they really want is for us to share in their FUN.

That 10 second trip down that slide, completely changed my perspective.

Go down the slide this summer.

***

This post originally appeared on Facebook, published with permission. 


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Amanda Goodman
Advocate. Former journalist. Emmy-Award winner. Mom. Wife. Unapologetically real.