I used to kayak with 6th graders once a year for 20 minutes in the small mountain lake nearby
First I'd watch them all learn to row their canoes
Then I'd ask for a review for myself
They'd partner up in canoes
I'd wait for the single kayak - teacher benefit
I'd paddle around, watch out for them, listen to them learn how to cooperate with the oars
I'd take pictures, take in the beauty of the water, breathe until the whistle told us it was time to bring it in
"How different could it be?" I asked myself
When my own 6th grader, and his 9th grade brother asked to rent kayaks in Key Largo
And I was right and wrong - which is how parenting usually goes for me
One wanted to go go go
The other had never kayaked before - he had to learn how to paddle in between the mangroves
There were debates, angry words, and much bumping into the shore
I was kayaking, breathing in the beauty of the water while keeping an eye on them
There hadn't been a lesson on paddling
I didn't get a review - only a quick reminder of which way to face the paddle
There was no whistle to tell us to bring it in
Only a map they quickly handed us as we got in the boats, and an hour to get back to the marina
I couldn't quite get oriented on the map, but there were usually people to follow and
the boys figured out which way to go when there weren't
In the middle of the journey, I put my paddle down across the kayak to take a mindful moment and watch the boys who had finally figured out how to cooperate - mostly
"Don't you wish you could be here?" one of them called out to me
"We are here!"
6 thoughts on “#sol22 March 8 Kayaks, Boys & Mangroves”
This is a lovely post of family life and the struggle to find balance – literally and figuratively – of cooperation and new experiences.
There is joy in watching brothers cooperate though it can sometimes take time to get to that point. Enjoy your time!
Love this narrative told in verse and the ending–“We are here.” made me smile.
I love this! Sometimes I really miss the days of having teenagers. It’s hard to believe how quickly they grow up!
And today we snorkeled in cenotes and a flooded cave with out teenagers. Your experience sounds very familiar. Love the last line:)
This is really fantastic! I am Mom to three boys and know well these kinds of outings. I loved this line so much, “I was right and wrong – which is how parenting usually goes for me.”