Everyone had a great time and we are all currently exhausted.
The river was refreshingly cool, but not cold. The current was swift enough that it didn’t take the full five hours to get from beginning to end. There were long stretches of super slow current where the water was perfectly deep (touchable with my toes if I submerged hard enough, but not so deep that it felt uncomfortable) so that Sebastian and I could get out of our tubes and swim. Marissa never got out of her tube, and my mom and Paul only did so once. Sebastian and I would get out every time the water was deep enough that we couldn’t see the rocks through the water. We stayed close to the boat (what we called our herd o’ tubes), but ventured far enough away that Sebastian could practice swimming back to the boat (with his vest on).
There was no bickering, no anger, no frustration (save one moment where I had to tell Sebastian to stop asking every 90 seconds if we could get back into the water, and that I’d tell him when it was time). There was no whining, no complaining about the heat. When I reminded everyone to drink some water, they drank some water. When Marissa’s legs were feeling overly hot, she asked for sunscreen and then we passed it around and everyone slathered it on.
(Literally my ONLY complaint for the day was that my eyes would burn from the facial sun screen. I think it would have been okay had I not sweated it into my eyes during the intensive labor of helping to lug an extremely heavy cooler to the curb while waiting for the shuttle / to the water after getting off of the shuttle. Sweating it into my eyes set off a constant sensitivity to having the sunscreen on my face. In fact, the only reason that I initially decided to get off of my tube and submerge in the water was to try to relieve the discomfort in my right eye because no amount of wiping at it with a clean wet cloth was doing me any good. And getting into the water was the best part of the whole day. It felt amazing.)
As expected, I did end up with a migraine, but not until the day was over. Also as expected, everybody had some area that ended up a bit pink (Paul’s shins; Marissa’s legs; Sebastian’s lower arms; my chest, arms and face (because I kept wiping the sunscreen off of my face even after reapplying it and totally avoiding my eyes because it still burned) (also, I had the most exposed upper body areas); my mom’s legs and face a little bit), but nothing that I would consider a sunburn, if that makes sense. Yes, I get that any pinkness is technically a burn, but nobody is in any pain from the sun, and here in Phoenix that’s your low-end marker for a burn.
I knew that once we were in the water, my anger at the heat would subside, and it did. The sun was intense and brutal, as always, but the breeze was cool and the water was perfect. It was the first time in 15 years that I have enjoyed an activity that took place outdoors during the summer.
Everyone crashed early. Paul was in bed at nine, and Sebastian followed suit all of five minutes later. I know that my mom was done by 8:30. I think that Marissa might still be awake, but she fell asleep for an hour on the ride home, and she’s a nocturnal teenager, so that doesn’t surprise me.
I’m utterly exhausted. I was in the shower within five minutes of getting home, and then I was half-asleep in bed 20 minutes later, but the shot I took for my migraine makes me a bit wired, so my exhaustion hasn’t amounted to sleep so far. I’m glad that I didn’t try earlier, because neighbors were setting fireworks off in front of our house at 9:45 and the dogs were going berserk.
But now it’s 11:01. It’s been quiet for an hour. I’m incredibly hungry (it’s insane how ravenous I get after being in the sun for any extended period of time), so I’ll probably make a snack and then crawl into bed and (hopefully) sleep straight through until late morning. That would be amazing, because all of today has happened on five hours of shoddy sleep last night. Sleep sounds so nice.