When I was 9 or 10, we lived in a housing development across the street from Geauga Lake Park in Aurora, Ohio. It’s hard for me to imagine in 2010, but in 1988, my sister and I walked the mile or so from our home to the park, season passes and beach towels in hand.
The two of us spent hour after hour in The Wave, a huge pool where a 5-foot wave moved through the water every twenty minutes. We jumped into and through the waves time after time, until our skin was crispy and sunburned.
And then we walked the mile home.
I don’t think we ever got tired in those days.
I’m older now, and I’m pregnant. And the waves in the ocean come more often than they did in The Wave. A lot more often.
Like every 20 seconds instead of every 20 minutes.
I get tired.
At the beach last week, the girls, Joe, and I swam out past where the ocean waves broke and played in the waves. We jumped and floated and rode the waves.
The first time, it was fun. We stayed out there an hour or more.
The second time, it was tiring, but it seemed easier to stay out and bob than to battle the water and come back in.
And then the tide changed. Did you know the changing tide makes the waves bigger and meaner and more frequent?
It did that day.
I didn’t feel tired until I started taking on water. The waves crashing over my head got into my nose and down my throat and into my lungs. I was coughing and peeing in the water and I worried that I would throw up.
The fellow behind us said, “Ma’am! You’re not supposed to drink the water!” and laughed kindly.
“I know!” I told him, “I tell the baby that all the time.”
We all shared a laugh while I continued coughing. And peeing.
The waves kept coming, and I became more and more tired.
My father-in-law showed up at the edge of the water, waving at Joe.
And then another wave crashed over my head. “Amanda, I think I’m too tired for this. Let’s go in.” I gasped in between coughs.
“Oh, good,” she said. “I didn’t want to go in if you didn’t want to go in, but I really wanted to go in.”
As we passed Joe and my father-in-law, Joe jogged over. “PopPop is worried about you,” he said. “He saw the wave that crashed over your head, and he thinks you should sit down for a while.”
I did sit down, practically collapsing in my chair.
I think I’m getting old.
© 2010, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.