Jul 21, 2010

In which you wonder if I value my kids' lives AT ALL

An interesting thing happened on the way to this post.

As I decided which pictures to use, I realized that I wouldn't be able to use many of the best ones. The reason for that is: there were adults in swimsuits in them. You can be DARN sure I'm not going to post a picture of MYSELF in a swimsuit here, and out of respect for my two closest friends, I elected to keep them out of it, too. Add to that the fact that Mike is weird about having his picture on the Internet, and you're basically going to get a bunch of similar pictures of Doug and the kids. DOUG, YOU'RE FAMOUS!

I think I mentioned that I just took the two big boys with me for the overnight trip ... Grayson and Jakey stayed here. (And Jakey got the stomach bug, but I'm not going to dwell on that because it reminds me that the car still smells like vomit and I'd just like to forget that until I get in it in the morning and I'm assaulted all over again.)

Anyway, the boys are all known for their sense of adventure and near-complete disregard for their personal safety. THAT'S WHAT I'M AROUND FOR, TO LOOK OUT FOR THEM, although you're about to think I failed Mommy School.

Saturday morning we stopped by one of our favorite places on the lake. It's a little cliff-jumping spot. See Josh way up there at the top right? That's where they were running and jumping from. And that's Nick doing a nice little hurkey on the way down.

I'd love to tell you that I know how high that is, but I don't. Twenty-five feet? Made no difference to the adrenaline junkies. It took Nathaniel slightly longer to get up the nerve, but soon he was hurtling through the air and got out of the water as quickly as he could to scramble back up to the top to go again.

When we'd been there about half an hour, a rainstorm came (the first of many for the weekend). I tried to keep my camera dry, and we all dashed back to the boat. We pulled into a vacant covered boat dock and waited it out, and then it was immediately back into the water.

The boys have always loved to tube, even when they were younger than Jake.

Last weekend was no exception. Nathaniel has gotten so good at it that he feels like he can show off now and then. No hands!

Of course, it wasn't all about my kids. You can see how much fun Josh, Hannah and DJ were having ... Haley loves the lake, too, but she was a little more timid about being on the tube with the boys than Hannah was.

My boys were utterly fascinated by the concept of wake boarding, and Josh has gotten really good at it. He showed us how it's done.

Then Nathaniel was DYING to do it, so we gave him about 15 minutes in the water to try, with adult help. He got up once for about four seconds, but -- as he learned first-hand -- it's a lot harder than it looks. He saw Josh pop right up and thought it would be a breeze, but it clearly takes practice! DJ was able to get up a few times, and I bet he'll be an all-star next Summer.

We encouraged our boys to try the ski trainer thingie instead, since it seemed like it would be easier ... and it was! Nick got up on the first try and had no trouble navigating around the lake.

Nathaniel got up on the first try, too, and he even wove in and out of the wake a little bit during his turn.

During Nathaniel's turn, the rain began again! We quickly tucked into another empty covered dock and began the wait. It was POURING.

It only lasted about 20 minutes, and the kids weren't that bothered. They even jumped off the dock and swam that time, since there was no thunder or lightning.

When the rain passed, we got back in the boat and headed back to the house for the evening.

The next day we had the same "rain expected" forecast, but we didn't let it get us down. We got out for a while in the morning, then ate lunch back at the dock during yet another downpour! Finally we piled back in the boat and drove to a cliff diving spot we hadn't been to before. The kids climbed straight up the rocks. I elected to take the muddy, ant-ridden path to the left. Ant bites are preferable to showing my bootie off to the entire lake for five minutes.

I think this spot might have been slightly lower than the one from the day before, but it's hard to say. It looked like about 20 feet. All I know is, when I jumped off, I had plenty of time to think before I hit the water. I jumped five or six times and loved it, but I didn't like the climb back up each time! Nick just walked up to the edge and jumped off with no prompting whatsoever ... I almost missed it because I was busy reassuring Nathaniel that he was going to live.

First time around, Nathaniel made me go before he did. And then I guess he decided that if MOMMY could do it, he could do it. Plus, Doug was up there about to push encouraging him.

The last thing we did on Sunday was to go right across from that jump point to a MASSIVE, CRAZY-HIGH cliff-diving point.

Doug is about six feet tall, and I can fit seven or eight of him down that cliff. GEEZ.

Doug didn't loiter too long at the top. He pretty much just ran and jumped off the edge ... he said he had to, or he would have lost his nerve.

From the time he jumped until he hit the water, I shot about 10 or 12 frames. Loooooooooooooong way down.

When we finally packed it in and headed back to the house, Jack was out like a light.

He made me miss my Jakey. (Except that Jakey would have been screaming bloody murder all weekend because I wouldn't have let him jump off of 25-foot cliffs. I have to draw the line SOMEWHERE.)

Since it was our last boat ride, everyone except Nick piled on the tube to drive home. (Nick's hands hurt a lot from all the tubing and rock climbing.)

Seeing our kids all growing up together is such a fun experience ... I love Lisa and Honor's kids like they're my own, and I really enjoy watching all of them play, laugh and love. (I could do without the requisite whining, but you know. Opportunity costs.)

I bet next time you'll be like, "NO HURRY WITH THE LAKE POST," since I can't seem to be brief to save my life. But ohhhhh, it was fun. Until next year ...


Sarah T. said...


Patrice said...

Too bad Aunt Debbie can't finish reading this because of the heart attack she just had. Looks like so much fun. So glad the boys are old enough to be able to do so many exciting things. Looks like they had a blast. LOVE THEM! (and you, of course)

Sewconsult said...

I would be along side Aunt Debbie. I had to get my meds before I could finish reading. Ah, youth.

RLR said...

That is SUCH a dad-and-kids trip for this family. The whole "kids are your heart walking around outside your body" thing.
Kudos to you for being the brave mom. I'm sure if I could find the nerve, it would be loads of fun.

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Patrice, I know! I actually warned Debbie that these pictures were coming on Monday. ;)

Beckie, sorry ... didn't think to give YOU a heads-up. Ha!

Ryan Leigh, honestly, it doesn't seem that crazy in the moment. Looking at the pictures ... I guess it looks a lot more dangerous!

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