Rolling Blurb: Getting kids on the water

I am often the one that brings the kids out on the water. I love the water and I love our time spent floating around on lakes. But don’t be fooled by the dreamy pictures, it takes a lot of work.

Still pictures often show the Insta-life side of things. 

 Paddle on Quarry Lake, Canmore, Alberta.

Paddle on Quarry Lake, Canmore, Alberta.

 Paddling in Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario.

Paddling in Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario.

 Paddling in the Petit de Grat harbor, Nova Scotia.

Paddling in the Petit de Grat harbor, Nova Scotia.

 Paddling on Two Jack Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta.

Paddling on Two Jack Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta.

My Insta-life stills don’t show me sweating as I walk down the sketchy pitch to the water’s edge.

 Paddle on Surveyor's Lake, British Columbia.

Paddle on Surveyor's Lake, British Columbia.

It doesn’t show the four awkward laps for 3 kayaks and a paddleboard. It doesn’t show that just as we’re ready to set off, a forgotten lifejacket means yet another trek up the sketchy hill. It doesn’t show me yelling at the kids not to go to near the water until I’m back. It doesn’t show the kids stepping in mud to their knees and losing a flip-flop about a foot deep. Or the tears that come with it. It doesn’t show that by the time I get everything to the water, the wind has picked up and it’s no longer safe to paddle for the kids. It doesn’t show the perfect day that I had envisioned and how the actual day played out. At first glance, it doesn’t even show me towing the kid that gave up on paddling.

And so, with all the “it doesn’t shows,” I still do it time and time again.

I learned that I am motivated by the stories that the kids get from these experiences…instead of the “It doesn’t show,” it’s the “Remember the time?” stories that keep me loading and unloading the gear. 

“Remember the time Mom carried those kayaks down that crazy hill in flip flops?”

“Remember the time Ellie stepped in mud and lost her brand new white flip flop?” 

“Remember the time the wind picked up so badly that Mom wouldn’t let us in the water and we had to carry everything back to the car?”

“Remember the time we tied our boats together and picnicked in the middle of the lake?”

“Remember the time we paddled along the shore and found turtles?”

“Remember the time we all got on the paddleboard and tried to surf it in the ocean and we all crashed?”

Mom, do you think we could go do that again?

Enough said.

 Sundown after a day on the water, Quetico, Ontario.

Sundown after a day on the water, Quetico, Ontario.