Since 2001 paddling has been a part of my life. It has been one of my longest relationships outside of family, and like any relationship has had some high highs and some low lows.
Paddling Highs were the first time I got on the Bottom Moose, the New Haven Ledges, the Upper Pemi, or managed my first cartwheel or loop. Downs.... well reality is we are all just in between swims, the lows have been hits to my boating ego or self-esteem.
However, despite any personal achievement or blunder, this past weekend was my favorite day on the river PERIOD... and it was on a Class II Section.
Why? Because of the kids. I introduced my kids, niece and nephew to whitewater rafting, and honestly I was very nervous. Not because of the rapids, but due to the concept that I was opening up a large piece of my life with them. All I could think about was... What if they don't like it?
So instead of just packing up and not going. I did what any good "over-thinker" does. I over analyzed, over thought and over planned. I knew everyone could enjoy the day as long as it was fun. So I focused on that. Realizing we would be on the water for roughly 1.5 hours, I brought a dry bag full of snacks, multiple drink options, rain jackets and squirt guns. Yep squirt guns!
All that was overkill (well everything but the squirt guns). They loved it! They loved paddling, the rapids, singing, yelling, talking to people on the river, the train we saw immediately upon getting on the river, the bald eagle we saw 10 minutes later and of course splashing each other.
Moral of the story.... Take your fun seriously! And take your kid's fun more seriously!! Everyone likes to have fun. Kids especially, whether they are 3, 4, 5, 8 or 32 years old.