It had been raining for days and I was absolutely itching to go outside. I typically spent the day, all day, at the pool and the three looooong days of rain and thunderstorms made me feel trapped in my own house! I was kneeling on the living room sofa, watching each drop of rain slide down the glass when I noticed the sun peaking through the clouds. "Mom! Mom!" I called. "The sun is shining! Can I go to the pool?" I think that my mom wanted me out of the house just as much as I wanted to go so she of course said yes and off I went.
I skipped down the hill to our neighborhood pool, towel over my arm and a smile on my face. As I rounded the corner of the tree line I could hear laughter and splashing. The sounds lured me in, curious... As soon as I could see the bridge over the creek, I knew I had to join the fun! There were several children teetering on the bridge railing over the flooding waters of the creek below. Their shouts of joy sent excitement shooting through my body. I loved the water and I loved adventure!
I heard my mother's voice in my head warning me of every bad thing that could happen if I jumped... I considered turning around or moving along to the pool, but only for a moment.
I watched the other children climb up, jump off and yell out in sheer joy! I saw their heads bobbing through the rapids of this little creek, catching onto a large tree that had fallen during the storms. To get out they had to wrap their arms around the tree, throw a leg up and slide over the moss covered trunk. No problem!
As my turn approached, I became a little nervous. What if I didn't catch onto the tree? What if I hit my head on a rock? What if I got hurt or died? All of these things were running through my head. I didn't care though. This looked like so much fun and how likely was it that I would get hurt the first time I tried it, right?
I put my little hands on the top of the rail, hoisting myself onto the ledge. I almost lost my balance one but caught myself. The cheers of the other kids was giving me confidence that I am not sure I would have had on my own. As I watched the swirling, rushing water below, I jumped far and high into the air. I heard in the distance, "DEBRA LEE!!!!!!" Then the water was covering my ears, my eyes, pulling my body downstream faster than I thought it could. I could see the fallen tree, my life raft, only briefly as I swirled around in the brown, murky creek water.
Just as I reached the tree, I felt a swift jerk on my shirt and I was suddenly not in the water anymore. My name had been screamed by my mother as she saw her daring, brave, stupid child jump into dangerous, post storm waters with wild abandon. Now I was being pulled from the water with the adrenaline fueled fear of my mother. "What were you thinking?" she screamed. I was about to answer when I realized that she wasn't really asking a question. The seat burning spanks started at the creek and continued all the way home. My day in the sun was over....