My aunt and uncle have some property down on the lake where I grew up. It's a large reservoir, and they've worked hard to build a great place to spend the day in total relaxation. Recently, we were fortunate enough to be invited to come down and hang out with them for the day. My cousin, who currently lives in North Dakota, was going to be there with her two children, and it was the perfect opportunity to get out on the lake and spend the day with people we adore.
While the boys have been taking swimming lessons, they are both still a little nervous around the water. I figured that they would mostly hang out on the dock and in the shallow water's edge. So when both agreed right away to hop into the canoe with my cousin's children, I was pleasantly surprised. The water is one of my favorite places to be. The kids had fun paddling around a little, and then it was time for Uncle Mike to bring out the big guns - the ski boat.
After watching their cousin (a strong and confident 7 year old) take a spin on the new ski trainer, my big one decided that maybe being pulled behind the boat looked like a pretty good time. So, the two of them hopped into the dually - a double inner tube - and off we went.
(Confession time - He wanted out at the last minute. Papa told him in no uncertain terms that he needed to try it, and I agreed. At the same time, I was terrified that if it was a bad experience, we were in trouble. The kid never forgets!)
Well, let me just say that the dually was amazing. The peer pressure of having his cousin there with him, me in the boat watching out for him, and my uncle taking it easy, making sure the ride was great all worked together. He had a blast. We went slow, we went fast, we spun in circles giving them some great wake bumps. The grin never left his face. And as soon as we got back? My little one hops in with my cousin's little one. Oh my goodness - those two tiny little boys (3 and 4 years old) out there in the middle of the reservoir looked so far away. And so very little. And were having such a fantastic time! It was wonderful.
And through the afternoon, the fun continued. They played in the shallows, the little one jumped into the lake all by himself (although it was far too cold for his taste), and the big one even gave the ski trainer a shot all by himself.
Then both boys got to watch their papa water ski. It was his 60th birthday that day, and he wanted to prove to himself that he could still do it. And honestly, he was amazing. He has always been one of the best skiers I know, and the years haven't changed that. For a few moments, I was the little 7 year old in the boat, cheering on my daddy, watching him make it all look so easy. And my boys were thrilled at the cool new trick Papa had shown them.
It was a day that the boys and I won't soon forget. My aunt, uncle, and cousin were such wonderful hosts, and the kids had so much fun playing together. I'm so glad we went down, and eagerly look forward to a time when we can do it all again.