Tuesday, September 10, 2013

water babies

(This is a look backward, from about two weeks ago.) 

We spent our last true summer weekend at my dad's lakehome, visiting with family, playing with cousins and exploring the Great Outdoors.

It really was a wonderful weekend. The company was grand, the weather was perfect, the kids all seemed happy to play together.

I've been visiting "the cabin" since I was young, since it was a work-in-progress without much of a second floor. Now, the home houses up to 20-some people, thanks to bedrooms, bunk beds and pull-out couches.

So holiday weekends can really become mini family reunions. There's a lot of energy in the house at any given time.

As a kid, when I needed a break from the activity, I'd scoot on down to the dock and just sit at the end, sometimes on the bench, sometimes with my feet in the water, just looking at the ripples on the surface and watching for signs of wildlife.

On Saturday morning of Memorial Weekend, I woke before most (thanks to my 2-year-old) and Millie and I, together, ventured down to the dock.

We watched the sun rise above the horizon. She sat on my lap, hypnotized as the sun transitioned from red to orange to too bright.

We sang. We prayed. We snuggled.

Millie loved it there, at my dad's, splashing in the lake, running up and down the dock.

I, of course, forgot her life jacket (and a slew of other things, thanks to too-quick packing), so I don't have any pictures of her in the water.

But take my word for it. She was happiest in the water, splashing around in my arms, and playing along the shore, tossing rocks into the water.

She had a great time.

As for Lola, she loves to play and swim in shallow water, but she's not yet swimming.

She's terrified of having water on her face and too afraid of drifting away in the vastness of the lake. So she was still more comfortable being held and directed in the water.

After a while, though, she worked up enough courage to go on the 'Gator and to splash around with her cousins.

Her cousins, much more comfortable in the water, took the 'Gator out onto the open lake, the boat very gently pulling them around the bay.

Lola wasn't ready for that yet.

But she had a lot of fun watching them from the boat.

(Which really was a win by itself because she's usually terrified of boats too.)

It really was the perfect weekend at the lake. The weather could not have been more perfect.

But watching the kids playing around out in the water can give adults ideas of their own...

Saturday afternoon, we were all hanging out on the front yard, sitting in the shade watching someone  in the middle of the bay struggle to get up on water-skis. (He never did get up.)

And being the competitive me that I am, I thought I could do better.

So, after about 15 years, I decided to give it a whirl.

How hard can it be? I didn't remember it being extremely difficult.

"How many tries to do you think it will take Mommy to stand up?" I asked Lola. "One? Two? Five?"

"Five," she said. "But I don't know if you'll get up at all."

Gee, thanks for the confidence kiddo.

I don't think I was really nervous until I was sitting in the water, in position, waiting for the "go" signal. It really was harder than I remembered to stay tucked in all together.

But just as I started wondering what the heck I was in for, it was time.

And ... ?

 ... I stood up.

First try.

But before you start thinking I'm totally bragging -- which I am -- I will readily admit that I couldn’t even bring myself to lift my body onto the dock after just two little circles around the bay. I was that tired. And my arms were killing me the next morning when I woke up and my legs weren't too happy with me either.

But it was still totally worth it.

- Bethany :)

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