When I was in elementary school, the playground had this really big blue metal slide. Of course, when you’re four feet tall, everything seems really big. It was one of those that had a wave in the middle so that a person going down it fast enough could get some serious air (like six inches) and, knowing myself, I’m sure the first time I went down it as a Kindergartner I was terrified out of my mind. People might be surprised to know that I’m a bit timid by nature and I was especially so when I was younger. The slide in question was fairly old by the time I was big enough to play on it and I remember it being slightly rickety; let’s just say it probably wouldn’t have passed a safety inspection by today’s standards.
During recess, playing on the slide meant getting in line and, once at the top, going down quickly lest the second-graders behind protest impatiently. I don’t remember that seminal moment (thank you, Ron Luce) when I took the initial plunge, but I’m sure it was nerve-wracking. Continue reading