This week what I did right was this: I swallowed my pride and let my teenage son dunk me in the pool (well, try to). Even though I didn’t want him to mess up my hair or makeup.
Here’s the story:
We went camping in Zion National Park in Utah last weekend and it rained so we decided to leave early. We spent a lot of time being cold (it got into the low 30’s at night), and then the weather was so great when we got back that we just HAD to go swimming. The weather’s been great here in the desert-y part of Southern California. Nice and warm, but not too hot. It was a perfect escape after a weekend of sitting in the car, sleeping on the ground, hiking and not showering for three days.
Since we had been road tripping/camping all weekend, I was tired of being gross and when I woke up on Tuesday morning I took a nice long shower, shaved, fixed my hair, wore cute clean clothes, and put on my makeup. I wanted to look good for the first time that week. It just feels so good to get decent after being all wilderness-y, y’know?
When we decided to go swimming, I was all for it.
I just thought I’d sit in the spa or stand in the shallow end of the pool and keep my hair and makeup dry and intact. I tried really hard to keep my head out of the water, avoid getting splashed, and keep my mascara in place.
But then my 15-year-old son came up to me and asked, “Can I dunk you?”
First of all, I love that he knows he’d better ask first so I don’t lose my crap when he dunks me by surprise. After being grateful for that, I hesitated.
I finally said, “I don’t want to get my hair wet.”
“It took me a long time to do my hair this morning.”
“I seriously spent an hour getting ready today.”
He just looked at me like I was the saddest person in the world.
I realized in that moment that keeping my hair dry and preventing “racoon eyes” was a crappy reason to pass up the opportunity of playing with my almost-grown-up baby boy.
I don’t get a lot of those opportunities and they’re getting rarer as time goes on.
So I said, “OK OK, you can TRY to dunk me. If you CAN.”
Hubby said, “You don’t have to let him, your hair does look cute today.”
I thought to myself, It does, doesn’t it? Thanks for the support, babe. But I need to lighten the heck up.
What I actually said was something elegant like, “It’s OK, I don’t want to be a party pooper.”
So J-Dog made a run for my ankles, picked me up and threw me down. I fell over, but caught myself just in time to be able to keep my head out of the water. After taunting him with a big, “HA!” He tried again and this time half my head got splashed with water. Satisfied (or bored), he moved on to another activity, and I was able to preserve most of my dignity while still giving my son much-needed attention.
Sure, half of my hair dried kind of wonky but I still looked fine.
And even if I’d gotten completely drenched, I was glad I’d decided to put my relationship with my kid before the condition of my hair, even if it did take me a minute to make the right decision. It was a bonding moment. And I don’t get a lot of those these days.
Letting your kid dunk you may not always be the right choice (sometimes you just don’t wanna be dunked), but in spite of all the things I did wrong this week, and even though I didn’t want to at first, I let my teenage son (try to) dunk me in a pool and it was totally worth it.