So we stopped at the Kalahari Water Park for one day this week as part of our family road trip The Husband had looked into it, booked it, and was super excited to see the kids go nuts in the largest waterpark in the US. I have to admit, I was pretty excited too; I thought I really liked waterslides.
Thought being the operative word.
As we entered the park, I did a quick scan of all the slides, and settled on one we could all do as a family. The Rippling Rhino. I envisioned a gentle ride; not too fast, gentle curves, lots of smiles and giggles from the kids. We climbed the stairs up to the start of the slide, hopped into the specialty raft, and were launched into a pitch black tunnel. The sharp turns had us rocking from side to side, the current of the water was spinning the raft around, and there were bumps and drops that literally had my heart leaping out of my chest.
In the back of my mind, I knew that quite literally, there had to be light at the end of the tunnel. That the ride would come to an end, there would be lots of giggles, and my heart rate would return to normal. But that did NOTHING to quell the panic I was feeling.
And just when I thought I couldn’t take another second of the ride, I caught a glimmer of light, and before I knew it, we were back into daylight, the ride was over, there were lots of giggles from everyone, and the kids raced off to try a different slide. But my panic didn’t really subside.
The same scenario repeated itself over and over again for the next two hours. And again the next morning when we got up and did it all over again.
I could not just “go with the flow”, enjoy the twists, turns and bumps in the slides, especially when I had no idea what was coming up next, and I certainly did not find any sweetness in the moment when the darkness gave way to light.
And so, the slides at the Kalahari Water Park have become a metaphor for my life. I don’t like going with the flow, I really don’t like NOT knowing what’s coming up next, and rather than enjoy the sweetness that comes from making it through a difficult time, I prefer to re-group and strategize on how to be best prepared for whatever might come my way next.
Evidently, I have some work to do . . .
In the meantime, the kids are already asking when we can go back.