Thursday, April 7, 2011
The Incredible Zipping Sisters
We are two of the most indecisive people in the world.
"Do you think it's safe?"
"I don't know. Do you think it's safe?"
"I don't know. Maybe I should try it first."
It was at this point that I really, really wished I had my camera. My sister passed her toddler into my arms and headed toward the zip line.
"Watch your sciatica!" I gently suggested.
She grabbed the bar, grinned weakly and stepped forward. Boy did she zip. Through the woods, careening like a madwoman, my dear, sweet little sister. We cheered, whooped and hollered.
Upon her safe return, the questions began anew.
"Do you think it's safe for the kids?"
"I don't know. Do you?"
"I don't know. Maybe we should make Drew try it out . . . ."
He looked dubious. I challenged him, "If you can go whitewater rafting, you can go down a zip line." He took the bait. He zipped. He grinned, and said, "Who's next?!"
The questions resumed.
"Should there be an age limit?"
"Should they be at least eight years old?
"I sure wish the guys were here. They'd know."
"Let's say you have to be eight."
So down zipped the ten, nine and eight-year-old cousins with their mothers frantically reminding them to hold on for their dear lives (like they would even consider letting go . . . .). The five and six-year-olds were content to stay on firm ground. All that zipping was a bit too wild for them. (Or maybe it was the mothers that scared them: "Hold on! Remember you have gymnastics next week! You may not break one single bone in your body!" Maybe that was it.)
And then she looked at me with a gleam in her eye. "You wanna go?"
"Oh . . . . I think I'm too old. Am I too old? And I'm really out of shape. Am I out of shape?" (In case you have forgotten, we are two of the most indecisive people in the world.)
She threw my own words back at me: "If you can go whitewater rafting, you can go down a zip line."
Avery hightailed it to the house. She had no desire whatsoever to see her mother behave like a hooligan. Mothers who spend their days sipping tea while reading books just weren't supposed to act this way.
But I took the same bait that my son took. Down the zip line I went, holding on for dear life. I was sure I'd sprain an ankle or fall in a crumpled heap at the end, but I made it. No twisted ankles, no crumpled heaps. Just more cheering, whooping and hollering.
We finally tied up that zip line. Our noses were pink and our cheeks bright with the cold. My sister and I laughed as we made our way through the neighbor's woods back to her house. Who would have thought that we'd spend a day of spring break zipping through the woods? We merrily squelched through the damp mosses and lichens, my sister balancing Clara on her hip as we ducked and giggled through branches, shouting at the kids to please stay out of the freezing cold creek and to not break their necks falling out of that tree house.
My sister and I, we've always been very close. But somehow, zipping through the woods like that, doing something just a tad crazy and letting our kids witness the hilarity -- it brought us even closer. I still wish I had had a camera with me, but I don't think I'll ever be able to erase the mental image of my zipping sister. It was a glorious sight to behold.
I'm not sure if I'll ever go down that zip line again. Don't get me wrong. It was fun to try something new, and it was good to step out of my comfort zone. Even Drew commented on how proud he was to see his mother zip by. But do you remember my hesitations about my age and my not-so-stellar athletic condition? Well, these things seem to have contributed to this interesting sensation I have in my back right about now. A sensation of having been pulled, stretched and unnaturally lengthened. The rack comes to mind. I guess a little heat and ice will do the trick, right? And maybe the stretching did some good, after all. I've always wanted to be as tall as my sister. Now we can really be twins -- just like we always wanted.