Yesterday was a very significant day in the life our our family. Most people who follow this blog probably know that we have a kayak and one of my favorite things is to spend time out on “The Boat” – whether it’s on the The River or out in the Sound (we call it “The Boat” because it makes it sound like we have a really cool yacht or something, when in actuality it’s just a 14′ kayak, which requires me to paddle instead of using a power motor :)).
Anyway, Chloe has always loved going out in The Boat – and she asks on a fairly regular basis if I’ll take her out in it. The last time she was out in The Boat was in the spring when she and I and my dad all went kayaking for a few hours down the Tar River (Dad was in his kayak and I had Chloe with me in mine). At a very early age Melissa and I took Chloe out and gradually eased her into longer times on the kayak, so now she really enjoys it. Celeste, on the other hand… Well, is Celeste 🙂 The first time we took her she screamed bloody murder the entire 15 minutes we were on the water, so we decided to wait a year before trying again. Last year we tried again. She again screamed bloody murder the entire time we were on the water, so that was the end of that. Until yesterday…
Melissa had Awana leader training so I decided I was going to be brave (stupid?) enough to take both girls out on the kayak by myself. Before we left the house I talked with Celeste about it and she started getting all excited and said she wanted to try it. I went and got her life jacket and put it on her in the house to see how she would react (it was wearing the life jacket that caused her to scream, not being in The Boat), and she did okay. She said a couple of times, “Daddy, I no like it,” but she said she wanted to try going out in the boat. So I loaded the kayak on the van, got the girls lathered up in sun screen, and off we were to the Tar River.
Once we got into the water I had Chloe up in the front cockpit and Celeste sat with me in the rear – and she was pushed up against me staying very close. After about 15-20 minutes she became more relaxed and actually started moving around a little and putting her hands in the water. The girls ate a snack, we stopped at a little sand bar for them to walk around, we kayaked under the 264 bridge, and then returned to the put-in and got out. All told we were gone between 60-90 minutes. And Celeste did fantastic! It was a HUGE success (and it only cost me two packets of snack crackers to keep everyone happy!). Below are a couple of pictures I took while we were out – two of the girls playing in the water when we stopped at the sand bar and one on the way back to the car when the girls actually wanted to sit together in the front cockpit – they sat like that for 5-10 minutes before Celeste decided she wanted back on my lap.
I told them that the next time we go out they can wear their bathing suits so they can swim in the river while we’re are out – and they are already asking when we go back out on The Boat with their bathing suits and with mommy! Woo-hoo!