.

You Want Me to Go Off The High Dive?

Are you high?

Every June I jot down a list. Not really resolutions per say but rather a handful of goals and fun outings I’d like to accomplish while the kids are home on vacation.

First on this summer's wishlist was to have our dining room chairs reupholstered. Ten years—and hundreds of greasy mini-beef taco handprints later—the seat cushions are so stained, it looks like we changed our car oil on the oatmeal-colored burlap instead of going to Jiffy Lube.

Next I thought underarm hair laser removal would be heavenly. I detest shaving. It’s so much work for such low return. The stubble grows back before I’ve even toweled off. I also dreamed of taking the kids white water river rafting. And I wanted go off the high dive. This last goal seemed a little ambitious as I am terrified of heights. 

With summer winding down and only two weeks before the kids are back in school, I decided it was time to take inventory.

1. Dining room chairs. I found the perfect fabric—a geometric pattern in lime green and seafoam velvet. So retro. So cute. So expensive. $375 a yard? What? So Saxon can wipe his greasy, beef taco paws all over it? I don’t think so.

2. Laser hair removal. I called for a consult and was told six sessions would cost $1,860. Ouch. Unless Patch gives me a huge raise or I win the lotto, the hard bodies in the weight room at are stuck with my furry pits until further notice.

3. River rafting. I found the perfect half-day trip on the South Fork American River with Class 3 rapids and a buffet lunch. Only we were so roped with ’s Grease rehearsals, LGHS frosh football conditioning camp, and guitar and piano lessons, we didn’t have an afternoon to spare. Plus there’s that little money issue. See #1 & 2.

4. The High Dive. Seeing as this aspiration was my only viable option, I decided it was time to go for it. So on a perfect summer afternoon Saxon and I headed to the LGHS pool and paid the $3 admission. The water sparkled turquoise, the scent of chlorine and sunscreen wafted through the air, and the line for the high dive stretched across the deck.

From the comfort of the bleachers, my fully-clad mom friends coached me, “You can do this!” “Go for it.”

I stood there watching Saxon and his pals do flips, flying squirrels and tornado twisters off the mile-high high dive, my insides spinning like balls in a bingo cage. I trudged over and grabbed the ladder so tightly my hands went numb.

Slowly I climbed up. “Can I just sit down on the end and jump off that way?” I pleaded with the teenage lifeguard.

“No,” he said, shaking his head sternly.

The kids who were queued up below were really encouraging, but inside I’m sure they were thinking, Come on, mom shaking in her bikini, hurry up and GROW A PAIR!

I finally inched my way to the end of the board. Don’t look down, don't look down, I kept telling myself. Then I took the scariest step of all—off the board.

As you can see by the photo at right, I scrunched my face up like I was being forced to eat fish heads or live spiders or some really gross Survivor challenge, and then I jumped.

And the leap felt exhilarating. Okay, not really. It was scary as hell and I spent the rest of the afternoon glued to low-dive with all the preschoolers. Right where I belonged.

But I did it. I accomplished one of my summer goals. And it only cost me $3.  

Happy rest of summer!


For more on my hairy underarms, check out laughingattheground.com.

Christina August 08, 2011 at 01:40 PM
Your article titles always grab my attention. My first thought is...damn you look good in your swimsuit. Very cute article. I can just see all the kids cheering you on. Congratulations on taking the leap.
Kim Ratcliff August 08, 2011 at 03:46 PM
You're so sweet, Christina. Thank you. When are we going surfing again?
Louise Leprohon August 10, 2011 at 01:05 AM
Go Kim!
Dyan Chan August 16, 2011 at 05:46 AM
You are much braver than I! I almost panicked on the ferris wheel at the Boardwalk last summer. I had to close my eyes and pretend I wasn't on it so my five-year-old wouldn't know I was freaked.

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