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Banana Slide And Life

Banana Slides. Remember those things? The long yellow plastic mat that you stretched across your uneven lawn and doused it with enough water just so that it got slippery enough for a child’s body to slide over it? If you’ve ever had your turn at this 1980 summer activity, you probably have the scars to prove it. Rocks, sticks, rogue dinky cars, pine cones, your sister’s pet bird’s grave; that thin mat never protected your exposed skin from those hidden treasures under the mat and you can’t forget the end of the slide that wasn’t really an end per say. That damn thing launched you a “kid’s” mile beyond the mat and straight through the burnt summer grass because there was nothing to stop you.

As painful as it sounds, you were always dumb enough to get up, wipe the blood from your chewed up chin, and then go for more.

Could you imagine, as an adult, firing your body across that?

Memories of my beloved childhood Banana Slide came about when I watched my son accidentally jab his toes on big sharp stones on the shore over and over. He’d whimper, inspect the damage, and continue to trudge forth with a smile.

jabstone

 

jabstone2

We went up north to my in law’s cottage for the Canada Day holiday weekend. The land of mullets and the only way to get a good reception for our techy devices is to ask the neighbor to stand out in the front lawn with his mouth wide open. You’d be surprised at how well metal fillings can pick up a good signal.

I’m totally kidding.

I like being detached from my phone and the computer and reattached to the things that sometimes get ignored in the hum drum of laundry and writing and doctor’s appointments and cooking shit that your kid says is poison.

jabstone3

(Sweet Rogaine, my forehead keeps getting bigger.)

(Yay antidepressants!)

I took my journal with me in hopes of getting writing in. I pictured myself on the rocky patch of land by the lake, the water tickling my toes with each wave rushing onto the shore, and annoying gusts of winds flipping my pages that are so white they practically blind me. Instead of my thoughts tapping into creativity, they stayed at the surface so that I could pay attention to what was happening around me.

As a writer/blogger don’t you ever find that you’re trying to write a story line in your mind as the moments are happening? Like watching your kid conspire with his cousin to take part in something very devious? I am guilty of not being present enough sometimes. My book never left the side compartment of our truck and I am ok with that.

devious campers

My thoughts lately have been veering to the left side of “I hate myself”, but sitting and watching and engaging and a little lot of drinking (see 101 things not to do while on lithium and when depressed) pulled me out of that abyss for a short while.

Any breath big or small, is the buoy being thrown from a ship anchored securely in the water.  

All good things though come to an end. Yes that statement is pessimistic as all hell but it’s true. However, if you really think about it, good doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. It can be that small breath when a moment makes you smile. You want to take it in and hold it for as long as you can.

Life banana

Depression; it’s like a Banana Slide.

You reach the end and there is nothing to stop you.

You body skids across the burnt grass.

You stop and brush off the blood from chewed chin.

You go back for more.

”Ten

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107 comments to Banana Slide And Life

  • Bittersweet post, there. I do think through blog posts while going about my day, constructing possible sentences and so forth.
    I nearly bought one of those mats at the store yesterday. Thought about it, remembered all those times, and put it back. Maybe when my kids are older.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Sarah, HAHAH!! Those are parent’s worst nightmare eh? I don’t think that I’d get one for my son…injuries and because we have a dog. Don’t want him to slip into a lawn bomb :)

    [Reply]

  • Hmm, and at the same time, it’s what you DO and how you behave, even as your brain takes you to places you’d rather not be and know on an intellectual (if not a visceral) level to be untrue and full of painful lies.

    You is kind. You is smart. You is important. You is a good mama. You, I like, a whoooooole lot.

    And I never had a banana slide (wrong country?) but I lived it through you :) Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Considerer, That is so important. Do the opposite of what your brain is telling you. However, no matter how much you try to engage and be a part of life, it can be almost impossible. Depression is a beast and it can punch you in the face. Everything it tells you is true even though it is not. We spend so much time in our minds trying to fight it that it exhausts us both mentally and physically. Some days it hurts to talk.
    I think that is why love is vital. The love from family and friends help us to see what beauty life holds when we are blind to it. xoxo

    [Reply]

  • I live in Japan and I have never heard of a banana slide before. It sounds painful, but exciting.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Romi, You need to google it. Actually, I bet that you can find the crazy on youtube!

    [Reply]

  • Kim

    I don’t think I’ve ever done a banana slide but we had slip-N-slides which I think might be the same.
    I love that you just keep going back for more even when life/depression knocks you down!!!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Kim, They are the same things. It may be a Canadian thing or a “Kimberly” thing :)

    [Reply]

  • zoe

    My 30 yo nephew sent me a video of he and friends on the slip and slide (thats what we called it)….I do remember the painog rocks etc!!! my nephew and his friends are in Afghanistan and they were just blowing off a little time on leave.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @zoe, AHAH!! It actually must’ve been refreshing to do that. I can’t imagine how hot it gets there!

    [Reply]

  • Your post is a study in contrasts. I hope that you can enjoy the exhilaration of the ride even when the abyss is near.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Kristi, I sure hope so too!

    [Reply]

  • Looks like despite everything you had a wonderful weekend! It’s so good to just live in the moment and forget about everything else.
    The modern water slides are certainly made of sturdier material than your banana slide. My kids have one with a small pool at the end to catch them! :)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Susi, It sure is. And I did. It was comforting to be around the ones I love. They make me smile and forget :)

    [Reply]

  • I took the girls to a wet and wild Wednesday activity near us. That mad HUGE slip and slides out of plastic sheeting down and big hill and soaking them. A hundred or so kids went down time after time. (if you get curious I blogged about it earlier this week) But your analogy to depression is sooooo very true. There is just nothing to stop you. The in between land is like a big teeter totter, one minute going to high, the next crashing too low. I guess that means mental illness is the worlds worst freaking playground.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Charity, Oh man…I bet that damn thing got tons of mileage. Although I’m sure that whoever put it on made sure that there was nothing under it cause you know…lawsuits.

    [Reply]

  • Your banana slide sounds like our old slip-n-slides. My children used to get them when younger and I swear those things only lasted a day. But they had a heck of a day. Since I don’t have to look professional every day — in the summer I’m barefoot. My feet get constantly — nicked, scratch and somewhat punctured. But it’s just part of summer to me. That holiday in the country looks idyllic.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Jamie Miles, I do too! My husband calls me Jungle feet. They get so gross which is why I get an after summer pedicure :)

    [Reply]

  • My kids go on a slip-n-slide at least once each summer. I know exactly what it feels like to go down one as an adult. At age 33, 38, and 39, to be exact. :)
    Not that I think you have one, but my sister-in-law, who is very self-conscious about her forehead, calls hers a fivehead. Brings a little laughter to her obsession with it.
    I frequently write posts in my head as the events happen, or soon thereafter. They are almost always forgotten by the time I get to a computer.
    I love all of your photos.
    Yes, all good things come to and end. But so do bad things. There will always be more of each. I just pray that the good far outweighs the bad.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @christine, So do bad things…yes they do. Sometimes I don’t see that when I’m in the thick of it. It’s like a never ending tunnel.
    I cannot believe you’ve attempted it. How many times did you break a hip? Totally kidding!!!
    I definitely have a five head!! AHAHAH

    [Reply]

  • Your post had me smiling until bam! right between the eyes. I like what Christine said in her comment (I always like what Christine says).
    On a lighter note, banana slides are slip and slides here, but no matter what you call them, they always made your dad mad because they killed the grass underneath them, even if you only had it out for one afternoon.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Dyanne @ I Want Backsies, I forgot about the angry dad and his beloved grass!!! HAHAH!!!
    I think the banana slide is a Canadian thing or maybe it is just my thing.

    [Reply]

  • I know the feeling about being inspired to write something while being in that moment. But mostly, I write it all in my head, and capture it in my heart. Cheesy as that sounds, it’s true. xo

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Alison, I do that too. Sometimes there’s just too much that I forget what I thought about in the first place. Often times, I’ll just write on whatever is handy. Even my arms.

    [Reply]

  • Sometimes I think that the whole point of all of this struggle is to pound out some brilliant book that will rock the world. But it’s not. Don’t feel like a failure for something that you decided you must do. And your blog is wonderful. I love your writing but if you need to take a blog-vacation, do it.

    To co-op your slip and slide analogy, I think that the point of life (and therefore the ultimate goal of each day) is just that thrill you feel at the end of the slip and slide when you jump off and look at how far you’ve come and you look around at the friends you are playing with and you feel content and then you run back around for another go at another day.

    But, like life, sometimes you hit a really big rock and get a gash in your leg and cry and get scared to try again and that’s okay. As long as you force yourself to try again soon. And you can do that because you are tough as shit.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Lyla Jackson, YES. YES. YES! You get it. I was wondering if anyone would. I do think that taking a vacation from deep thinking is a good thing and trying to make it weave into something people can understand. Looking back is where it’s at. Keep going back for more.

    [Reply]

  • yes!
    And you’re a stronger muther effer for it.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Leighann, See this scar? I got it from that one time I was dragged in a corn field…just kidding.

    [Reply]

  • Its nice sometimes to disconnect from phones/etc. Too bad you didn’t get journaling in, but sounds like you had some good thinking time.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Samantha Angell, I’m good with that. I needed to be more present than anything. :)

    [Reply]

  • Great pictures! My family could really use some tech disconnect time. Yeah they’re slip and slides here too. Great post.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Emilee, I know. My husband just got hooked on an iphone. Drives me batty!

    [Reply]

  • Paula Parker

    I disconnect from everything when I write. Happiness makes
    up in height for what it lacks in length. -Robert Frost I hope for happy outings with your family.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Paula Parker, I like it too. It helps you think deeper. I love that quote.

    [Reply]

  • Those are some beautiful family pictures. Great contrast with the banana slide and depression.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Michelle F., Thank you so much. I try to make it easy for people to understand what it is like to have depression

    [Reply]

  • I love your sweet and beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing :D

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Diana Villa, I love capturing the happy :)

    [Reply]

  • I find that being around people who love you helps with self esteem and depression. Your son must be your source of energy.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Glossytweets (@glossytweetss), Oh that kid saves me every single day. Being loved is one of the most important things when you’re struggling.

    [Reply]

  • michele d

    What a great post. Surround yourself with loved ones is always the health advice. It looks like you had a good time.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @michele d, Yes, love is what keeps me going. They help me find the happy in the dark times.

    [Reply]

  • very good analogy. Depression is such a terrible things..just look around and see all the amazing family members you have

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Kungphoo, Thank you so much. Yes, I do have so much love in my life which is why I fight with everything I’ve got.

    [Reply]

  • Don Purdum

    OMG, your description in the intro had me cracking up. I could just see my kid, or even myself, just flying by…

    Great post!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Don Purdum, I wouldn’t even dare attempt that now!! I can see how it used to be my parent’s worst nightmare!!!

    [Reply]

  • Bonnie @WEMAKE7

    Lol yes I remember the banana slide. I wonder if they still have those?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Bonnie @WEMAKE7, Someone did mention that they do only they have safety bumpers at the end…
    …I doubt the safety part.

    [Reply]

  • Maria Oller

    Wow if you didn’t mention the I would have never tho ab out banana slides I wanted to soo bad to slide on them and my mom wouldn’t let me do it .

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Maria Oller, They are a worst parent’s nightmare which is probably why I had to use my friend’s!

    [Reply]

  • As a BPD II Mama, I can completely relate. I don’t write about it on my blog, I don’t talk about it often but this really spoke to me.
    If you’re ever inspired, I would check out True Hope. It made a world of difference for me and I’m on my journey while lithium free.
    <3

    Stopping by to say hello and dish with you for a minute x
    Alysia
    http://www.mydomesticdish.com

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Alysia, I have heard about True Hope before but never checked it out. I will have to. Talking about BPD is really hard. It is so personal and you never know how it will be received. people can be big jerks….
    …and lithium free…that would be heavenly. I hate it but it does help…I think… :)

    [Reply]

  • You do gotta go back for more. There are moments during the slide which make it all worthwhile!

    PS. We called it a Slip ‘n Slide!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Liz Mays, see I need to find the official name for it…
    There sure are moments that are ugly but they heal…for the most part :)

    [Reply]

  • You have so much strength–evidenced by the fact that you keep coming back for more.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Eva Gallant, I’m making it my bitch.

    [Reply]

  • What’s a banana slide? Depression sucks indeed but you have got to stay positive and keep the right perspective.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @FamiGami, Oh you don’t know what it is? Google it. It is a parent’s worst nightmare :)

    [Reply]

  • I was expecting a post about a slip n slide, and got one on depression. Written from the heart, and clear that you have a lot of strength in you. Good luck!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Rach @ EazyPeazyMealz, you were probably wondering where this was going eh?

    [Reply]

  • That’s a really true analogy. I’ve been fighting against the darkness of depression my entire life and it’s a slippery slide.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Jaime, I am so sorry to hear that. But you know what, we do come out on the other side. it’s really hard to see that though when we are in the thick of it. I like writing posts like this so that I can go back and see that there is always hope. I hope that you are doing well right now.

    [Reply]

  • Pretty sure you mean slip-n-slides, which is a far superior name, as you’d guess being (I assume) the non-Canadian version. Also, Canada Day? As I’m pretty sure you never got independence (you’re still somehow British right? At no point in an American education will they discuss Canada and thus nobody will ever know the answer), so what are you celebrating? Is it just a day to gather and work on invasion plans? (Sorry, now that I’ve said that it seems obvious, weird I didn’t think of that immediately.)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Megan (Best of Fates), Yes. Invasion plans. You’re on to us.
    We don’t like that you know so much.
    …da da daaaaaa

    [Reply]

  • Never did the banana slide but always wanted to. And yes, I write the stories in my head as they are happening. Can’t tell if it’s a sickness or just the way of a writer.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Tricia, I think it’s a writer thing. Always looking for inspiration :)

    [Reply]

  • Never had banana slide growing up. Climbing trees was sort of my fun activity as a kid especially if it’s a fruit tree. I write when I am in the mood and has my tv turned on. I don’t know it seems that I can write better with noise around me. Weird me. LOL

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Jhady, I do too! I grew up in a family of 5 siblings so I am used to the noise. However I do welcome the silence to tap into deeper emotions. I loved climbing trees too :)

    [Reply]

  • Uh, the banana slide! It says summer…with excitement. You were too busy enjoying the moment to get your writing out. You know what? That’s a great sign. Sounds like a great weekend. I love the pictures, too!!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @lisa thomson-The Great Escape…, Ahhh..it is a good sign eh? Stepping away from all things tech related is good for the soul…and for the ones around us who vie for our attention.

    [Reply]

  • I did the same thing this weekend and just unplugged from everything and enjoyed my time with my husband. We went up into the mountains where there was no reception and camped and swam. It was such an amazing time. I also took my brand new journal to get some great writing in…ended up using the paper to get the fire started. Oh well, there is always tomorrow. Glad you had a great time with your family. We forget sometimes with our heads buried in our techy devices that real life is happening right in front of us.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Rena McDaniel-The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver, HAHAHA…now that is a story in itself. Getting the fire going is really tricky. Yes, it is really hard to let go of the techy things which is why I love going camping.

    [Reply]

  • I hear everything in this post. I was that 10 year old kid adventuring into the junk yard. Yes, that was me that dropped seemed like a ton on my toe.
    And yes, to this day I’m paying for my adventurous childhood – I can’t wear normal dress shoes. My malformed big toe needs lots of space…lol.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @tonygreene113 @ 113tidbits, holy crap! Really?! As kids we never thought things through. I remember my dad watching it unfold and then saying “You won’t do that again will you”

    [Reply]

  • well written with nice choice of words.. adventurous..

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Brijdeep, Thank you so much

    [Reply]

  • Ann Bacciaglia

    As a Canadian, I laughed at your reference to mullets and poor cell phone reception :)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Ann Bacciaglia, AMEN to that! I’m glad that you caught that!

    [Reply]

  • You’re right, good does not have to be any spectacular thing. Good can just be being. :)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Rosey, It sure can. I think that we sometimes spend far too much time searching for that big moment when the little ones are staring at us…

    [Reply]

  • Rebecca Swenor

    I think we all forget to pay attention to just the little things we take for grated. Them moments when we realize this is what we will always remember.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Rebecca Swenor, That is so true. It’s the little things that make a huge difference.

    [Reply]

  • Patricia

    I had a banana slide when I was a kid. I think they called it the slip and slide. I did not really enjoy it to much cause I got more hurt than enjoyment lol

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Patricia, I think that’s what it’s called too. Maybe a Canadian thing? Someone said that it’s safe now since they put bumpers at the end but you’re still sliding over hard ground!

    [Reply]

  • John Lopez

    This reminds of the slip and slide product. I remember sliding on it and rolling onto the grass or pavement. So much fun, I was reckless as a youngster.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @John Lopez, Or the pavement?! EEEKS!!!!
    Maybe the banana slide is a Canadian name for it? or just mine :)

    [Reply]

  • My mom never let us have a banana slide because she was mean and cruel but the neighbor kids have one so I got to slide into their tree, and over their pet graves instead of the ones in my own yard. I love this post so much (scheduled it to pin). I, too, think about blog posts and stories when in the moment. Sometimes, I send reminders to myself on my phone that I cannot of course figure out later but hey – it’s the moments.
    I’m glad your book stayed in the truck and that you had sunshine and breaths, and hope hope hope that you can stay on this side of the abyss. And I love love your photos. And you.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Kristi Campbell, Oh man…trees…I truly did chop up my chin on one. We had a drought one year (we weren’t allowed to water our lawns) so the yard was hard as a rock. Yup.
    I send reminders on my phone too only mine eats it. Cause you know…blackberry. Urgh…love you too

    [Reply]

  • I never heard of banana slide… but it looks like it was adventurous and scary at the same time.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Payal Bansal (@TrendsnHealth), It was! Well as an adult now it seems scary. I’m not sure if I could let my five year old do it!

    [Reply]

  • When I was growing up they were called slippin slides. Thanks for the great post

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @LaTonya (Detroit Mom), Maybe it is a Canadian thing…or my thing :)

    [Reply]

  • Kimberly, I will love every minute you get to enjoy out of your described abyss and mourn anytime you might temporarily have your foot back in it. As I’ve told you always and becoming friends with you I’m deeply proud of you AND your story AND your sharing. You have helped so many others that a year ago I’m assuming may seemed out of your reach. I loved Slip n Slides as a kid and luckily we always had a smooth runway, landing zone and run off area. Btw…”sweet Rogaine..” LOL!! You can always make me laugh and thank you for that! :)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Mike, oh my hair. I think my dog has sympathy pains since he is losing it too. Thankfully it might just be an age thing so we are giving him supplements. They didn’t find any lumps or bumps so that is good. He’s still on adult food so we are ramping it up to old dog food.
    I have to always reflect on the good. Then write it. :)

    [Reply]

  • One question. Is a banana slide like a slip n slide? Because I never had one of those but I always wanted one.

    Although now that I think about it I probably would have hated it. Especially if you’re comparing it to depression.

    XO

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Roxanne, I think it is. Maybe I was the only one who called it a banana slide. Made it sound less intimidating. xoxo

    [Reply]

  • That analogy at the end of the post was very powerful and sobering. I love you for seeing things so clearly (even on Lithium) that you’re able to make banana slides and depression and things I haven’t experienced so real to me. I love you for always being funny, even when you’re damn serious. I love you for capturing that conspiracy moment between Chace and his cousin.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Katia, I love you for giving such a new perspective on the post. ‘often times when I write, I think that no one will understand what I’m talking about :)
    Those two together are little turds.
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  • That’s true, the good is with us throughout the day, and sometimes, it’s a sliver of light that we may miss if we’re not looking. The good thing about the banana slide is that although it hurts, you only come away with happy memories.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Tarana, Yes! Even if it is a bad experience, we learn from it and it makes the good experiences that much more sweet. Even during struggles, we have those little pieces of good.

    [Reply]

  • Life is filled with happy and sad moments. Some sad moments we have very little control over. Makes enjoying the happy all the more special.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Onica (MommyFactor), So very true. The sad moments make us appreciate the good ones

    [Reply]

  • Wow, I’m sure you had a great time in the banana slide. This is the first time I saw this kind of slide.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @Kath Rivera, I think it is also called a slip n slide. Crazy fun times as a kid.

    [Reply]

  • katrina g

    thank you for sharing. Sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do. Sounds like your trying to make the most of every moment.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    @katrina g, I truly am. You have to!

    [Reply]

  • You are so smart and so…I don’t know. Just right.
    I was so guilty of not living in the moment that I stopped blogging. (well kind of) I don’t know what balance looks like for me, but at least I know that I can wipe the blood off and go back for more.
    Gigantic smoosh for you.

    [Reply]

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