Sometimes do you think, maybe I don’t need to keep up with the young ‘uns? That’s what must have been going through Pamela Vanden Bos’s mind when she made the trip from her home in Perdido Beach, Alabama, to join her daughter and family at Disney World. Here’s a slice of her life on that quick trip.

This year my daughter and her hubby, who live in the sometimes sunless Seattle area, are desperate for some authentic vitamin D (not in the capsule form). So they took their 15, 10, and 9-year-old children to Disney World for spring break. Of course, I booked a quick flight to Orlando to join them. What else is a grandma to do?!

Pamela Vanden Bos

Disney’s family resort has miniature golf, karaoke, balloon toss, bingo, laser challenge, 4D movies, several pools, and the ultimate water slides. During any given scheduled activity, they would take breaks and play other quickie games. Who can hula hoop the longest? Who posted a photo on social media? And when the emcee said, “Take a family selfie and run up on stage. Whoever gets up here first wins a prize,” I whipped out my phone. With daughter and hubby next to me, all three grands jumped behind and I snapped the photo. I think. Because the next thing I know, I’m free-falling and hitting the floor. My phone is gone. Looking up at the stage, there is Trista, the 10-year-old, showing our blurry family selfie. Yeah-yeah, we got a prize, but…

Next, the youngest, Kalese, pesters me to go down the water slide. Okay, I’m game. It’s hot out. Lots of little kids are walking up the winding steps and having fun. I’ve been at a playground. I’ve gone down slides. Grandma’s got this! I climb up the stairs taking my place in line. I watch the kids wait for the attendant to give them a thumbs-up, and off they go. However, I was a bit timid. “Come on grandma. It’s fun.” I hear the grandkids razz me. “It’s not scary, you won’t get hurt, there’s a pool at the bottom.”

Sitting at the top of the slide, water shooting up my back, I wait for the thumbs-up. “Go grandma go,” they all chant.

Instantly slipping too fast, I push my legs wide like a “V” to slow down, but I only go faster. I throw my hands up to palm the tube in order to get control and balance, but now I’m on my back, arms out, legs out, wildly going down a slide that seems to bend, twist, and turn. My sunglasses start to slide off my face, my mouth is open in a scream, and the next thing I know I’m tossed spread-eagled into deep ice-cold water. I gasp for breath. Too late, water is up my nose. Pawing the water for my sunglasses and flipping dripping hair out of my eyes, I spot my ‘special’ grandkids at the edge of the pool, laughing hysterically. I start hollering, “You guys didn’t tell me that I’d be going underwater.”

Trista grins. “I said there’s a pool and you wouldn’t get hurt.”

Kalese pipes up, “You said a bad word.”

“What? I did?”, looking at the oldest.

Charlie snickers. “Yeah, everyone heard you scream it the whole way down,” pointing behind me, “and mom got it all on video.”


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