Oh, Go Jump in a Lake!

Scenic Railway at Luna Park (Melbourne, Austra...
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I’m not a boat person.

Actually, I’m not a roller coaster riding, rock climbing, camping, race car driving, swimming, kind of person. Of course DW is ALL of those things, so I’m amazed everyday that he fell in love with me because we actually have very little recreational interests in common. I like to lay on the beach, soaking in the sun as the cabana boy brings me another drink. DW is jumping waves, skiing, snorkeling or riding high-powered jet skis.

I’ve taken three cruises. Apparently those are big enough boats that I not only manage, but forget that I’m on a boat.  The only time I’ve really had a problem on them is when we can’t dock at port and have to ride one of those little boats to shore. My stomach turns queasy, my head pounds and I feel like I could hyperventilate any minute. I have been known to respond that way on a plane as well. However, on a plane, the destination is important enough to keep me motivated. The boat thing is just “for fun”.

Overall, it’s really a pleasant site and makes all the travelers with me very comfortable. (sarcasm.)

Of course, my in-laws and a handful of my friends all own boats that they frequently take on the lake. The kids love to tube, ski and just hang out anchored to swim. Last summer I finally got the courage to get on my father-in-law’s boat so that I could see my kids tube and DW ski. It was bearable, all things considered, even though I was the only adult wearing a life jacket and clinging white knuckled to the seat. But I got on the boat – I give myself kudos for that first step. It sucks to be afraid of something so silly. Afterall, I drive faster in my car than these boats ever go and I really am a decent swimmer. I’m not sure where this irrational behaviour comes from either. Perhaps it is just inexperience. We didn’t boat as a family when I was a kid, nor did we frequently lake swim. I get wigged out by the speed and feeling of “flying” that the boat creates but I also hate not being able to see the bottom of the lake if we are swimming. It’s creepy to think about living creatures brushing up against you in the murkiness.

I’ve missed so much time with my girlfriends and their families this summer too. Even time with my family, because they still go without me (as they should). Sometimes I meet them at the lake tavern for pizza and burgers afterwards. They are all still glistening with sun and sky while I am perfectly groomed, every hair in place. I’m jealous of their wet bathing suits, sweaty faces and wind-blown hair.

The Tortoise had one of her best friends spend the night on Friday, and the next day DW was going to take all the kids to meet the friend’s parents for a lake day. I was so tired of missing out. I wanted to be with my friends.

“How about I come too?”

Laughter erupted from all parties involved. I didn’t respond.

“Oh! You are serious?” A mix of excitement and dread. I’m sure they were worried I wouldn’t be able to cope, and then the whole day would be ruined. I was a little myself.

“Yeah – I’m totally serious. It’ll. Be. Fun.” I tried to say convincingly.

Saturday afternoon we got packed up. It only took me a half–hour to figure out the whole suit thing. I had done a pretty good job avoiding that this summer, but now I had to face my summer body. Just one more thing I love about the lake. I’m convinced I am the only mom in America that actually gains weight in the summer instead of losing it. The kids are home and I end up eating more of their leftovers, eat dinner really late at night, and of course consume a crazy amount of guacamole, chips and beer. I tend to slim down in the winter, which really matters not when you are hiding behind a full-length down parka every time you leave the house.

Anyway, among the Oreo cookies, goldfish, chex mix and beef jerky was nestled a six-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Our friends seemed genuinely happy to see all of us. They were even so kind to have brought an herbal oil to go behind my ears to help with motion sickness.

“Can I rub this all over my whole body to help with a general fear of everything?” I half-joked.

The weather was absolutely perfect. Hot and calm. The lake wasn’t even that crowded either. As soon as we got on the boat my heart began pounding. My eyes must have bugged out a little.

“I’ve also brought my own type of remedy for your motion sickness, Em,” joked my friend, as she showed me a cooler with  9 more Mike’s Hard Lemonade and a bag of Salt and Vinegar Chips.

“Good grief I love you,” I laughed.

(Just an FYI – neither of our husbands drink. So it is just us moms who are lushes.)

The only real moving we did was out to the swimming spot. The anchor was thrown, and the kids started jumping all around us. Ms. N and I spent the afternoon catching up and occasionally being splashed by our husbands. A few hours later another family joined us. The moms commandeered one boat, while the other took the kids tubing. I never had to move except to get out to the lake and back to the dock. It was perfect.

I am embarrassed that it took me so long to make the first trip. Obviously this was a baby step, but it was a step in the right direction. I also had to overcome another fear, which was learning to pee in public. Believe it or not, I’m not an exhibitionist nor have I ever partied too hard in college that I couldn’t make it to the bathroom. I’ve only camped twice in my life. The first time we were at a KOA campground, so that doesn’t count, and the second time I learned quickly to stop consuming any fluids after 4pm so that I wouldn’t need to pee in the woods behind our tent in the middle of the night.

It never occurred to me when I first got on the boat that I couldn’t just wait to get back to shore to empty my bladder. I hate public bathrooms and in 9 years of marriage the only time my husband has ever been in the bathroom with me while I was relieving myself was when I was in the hospital and needed his support. Literally. Although, I tried to avoid this massive “public bathroom” it was not possible. And believe me, it is not an easy feat when you have your children “cheering” you on from the side-lines.

“Come on mom! You can do it, you can do it! You can, you can! Just pee!”

I must say, the later in the day – the easier it got.

3 thoughts on “Oh, Go Jump in a Lake!

  1. Years ago, when my parents would side line as I’d ride for hours, I announced loud and clear that, “WHEN I AM A MOM, I WILL RIDE EVERY RIDE!” And by age 16, the words made a tasty sandwich on my way home from the amusement park where I had previously bent over a garbage can. So I sooo get the not wanting to be on a boat, plane, any moving vehicle without me in charge of where it goes and how it turns.

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