Thursday, October 10, 2013


Big Sis got a canoe for her birthday. She called after work and asked if it would be too crazy to head out canoeing that evening.

Normally I'm the one who thinks everything is just too much work and I need Big Sis to convince me it will be worth the adventure.

This time, I was the one saying that it wasn't a big deal. The tables had turned. The first snag was the time of day. It wouldn't take that long to throw the canoe in the back of the truck, grab some dinner and head out to the water, plus the sun doesn't set until 7:30pm in the summer so we decided to go for it. (This was actually an August adventure)

Of course this is the afternoon the truck finally made it into the shop. No worries though, we're committed! So we borrow the truck at Grandpa's. This only put us behind a schedule 45minutes. Then we have to snag the permit. And then and then and then. We finally make it out onto the water and it was so worth it.

I hung out with the babies on the shore

It was beautiful!

 After they came back, things started to go downhill. The children were all past the point of being reasonable and we were trying to get everything packed back into the truck. The tie downs had come apart and I put it back in the wrong way. I spent the next 20 minutes trying to get a ridiculous mess of webbing knot undone with only the dome light from the cab. The kids are strapped in a freaking out because they are tired and scared of the bugs that keep coming in. They were crying and fearfully shrieking "BUTTERFLIES!" at the moths, now stuck in the cab since we kept the door open for the light.

The reasonable part of my brain found the name for their terror amusing. The part of me that was tired and ready to go and annoyed at myself for screwing up and ready to swear at the stupid webbing, drowned out that amusement and focused on not screaming, "Pull yourself together and stop shrieking like wild dogs are attacking you!"

Eventually we got it all figured out and headed home. The crying hadn't stopped though so in an effort to calm all of us down, Big Sis starts singing If You Are Happy And You Know It. I join in, mostly to let go of the desire to throttle all children. The crying from the back seats doesn't stop, but underneath it all one can hear the quietest *clap clap* We turn around and J has the ultimate face of tragedy, complete with a rainbow-shaped mouth and tear-streaked dirt tracks. But she also has the most perfect, tiny hands coming together in a pat-pat only a toddler can make, signaling she is indeed happy and she does know it despite every evidence of the contrary.

The juxtaposition made Big Sis and I start laughing uncontrollably. You know the laugh, the uncontrollable laugh of someone who has no emotional reserve left, who has no alternative but to laugh or to cry. Happenstance pushed us from the precipice into laughter instead of tears.

Thank goodness it did.

The frustration is forgotten, the stress is gone. When I look at the pictures, what I remember is the peace of the water and the hilarious pat-pat.

That is why we go on adventures when they aren't worth the work or energy if you think it through all the logistics. You just have to go for it because after the terrible fades away, you only remember that you were happy. And you know it. *pat pat*


Merkley Jiating said...

Your last paragraph is so very, very true. I tear up a little while reading it.

Merkley Jiating said...

Teared up*. Thanks autocorrect.

Erin said...

Great post- beautifully written. pat pat

Alicia W said...

I'm laughing while remembering. We are wild!


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