By: Shannon Shull
When summertime rolls around, those of us with kids scramble to find things to keep our children happy, active, engaged and entertained. And, if we’re lucky, we also get the opportunity to have a little fun ourselves!
We use everything from Disney shows, Super Hero movies, video games (Minecraft, Mario Brothers, Wii, you name it), arts and crafts, play dates, board games, Barbies, Legos, dance parties, and (my favorite summer fun) play time in the pool and on the lake.
My latest summer fun experience involved a water park and some wet-and-wild craziness. I recently took my kids to The Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC and had such a fun time! I probably haven’t felt that heart stopping rush nor screamed that much and that loud since I was a teenager. Those water slides were such fun. It’s a ridiculous thing when you really think about it – you’re half naked, you wait in a long line for a stupid amount of time for something that takes less than a minute, you place yourself in a flimsy tube (No straps! No seatbelt!), and then you plummet down a seriously claustrophobic tube at an incredibly fast speed as you’re pelted with water and ultimately get soaking wet! And the crazy thing?IT’S TOTALLY AWESOME! What a thrill! And you do this over and over again because the thrill of the ride is just too much fun, so you absolutely have to go back for more.
At 38 years old, I allowed myself to be swished, sloshed, spun and catapulted on the Great Wolf Lodge’s main “high thrill” ride, “The Howling Tornado.” My daughter Mina’s description describes it perfectly: “It’s like you’re a piece of poop being flushed down a big ole yellow toilet!” It’s the Great Wolf Lodge’s main “high thrill” ride. I was so proud of Mina for being willing to ride that one with me. Heck, I was proud of myself for actually doing it! Had my friend’s 13-year-old son not wanted to ride the thing so bad and talked me into it, I’m quite certain I would’ve never braved it. But I’m so glad I did because my girl, Mina, and I will certainly never forget that water slide experience.
As you can see, this recent summer fun escape of mine was certainly a case of me getting the opportunity to feel like a kid again. So whether drawing aliens and puppies, creating Barbie worlds, building Lego masterpieces, dancing around the living room after watching a super cool movie, making silly sounds with the Talking Hairy Ball app, having Wii game challenges or daring the “high thrill” rides at a water park, I have discovered that whenever possible, the best thing a parent can do is just join in on the fun! Not only will you totally treasure the time spent playing with your kids, they will absolutely love every minute. And as an adult, you will reap the benefits of allowing yourself to feel like a kid again. ☺