Since having children, I don’t get a chance to raft much these days. Between working, cleaning, soccer practice and life in general there isn’t time. And even if I did get a babysitter to go rafting, it would give me that guilty “bad mom” feeling.Even though I’m not able to get on the big stuff, I am super excited to take my daughter, Autumn, on her first whitewater rafting trip – the Upper New River.
I was talking to her about the trip and thought I would share the story — as funny as anything can be in the words of a 5-year-old.
I explained to her that she is now old enough to raft this year and her first words were “I guess the Tooth Fairy told somebody I’m growing up.” Still proud of losing her first tooth, I see.
I laughed and went on to tell her that could be part of it, but it was really that she did such a great job kayaking on the Greenbrier River last year that I thought she was ready. Her response was, “Well, of course, I’m ready mom. I’m going to kindergarten, I play soccer, I lost a tooth. I’m a big girl you know.”
I agreed and asked her whether she would like to be in the raft or ride on the ducky with mom. She looked at me funny and was silent for a bit. Then she said, “Mom, are you crazy? How in the world could I ride on my rubber ducky? And mommy I know you couldn’t fit on there, too?”
Laughing some more, I explained that the ducky was like the inflatable kayak we took on the Greenbrier last year. “OK, mom, I thought you were crazy for a minute. My other toys can’t even ride my rubber ducky in the bath tub,” she said.
I started to talk about how we would be going on the New River and she said, “Is the Greenbrier the old river?” I asked what that meant since mom can be a little slow, too. She said, “Well, why is it a ‘new’ river?”
I told her the history of how the New got its name (of course, she had no patience for this — history is not exciting to most 5-year-olds). She stopped me half-way and said, “Mom, I don’t care what river we go on, as long as I’m with you.”
With a smile on my face I agreed that a day on the river with family is better than any day. She finished the conversation with, “Well, I sure am glad we don’t have to ride my rubber ducky, that would be silly.”
I hope the story was as funny as I thought it was. Of course, I’m convinced my kids are the funniest (and cutest) kids on the planet. But doesn’t every parent?
Long story short, get out there with your kids. Make memories. Even when things are hectic and there is not enough time, just remember your kids are going to remember those moments for life. You will, too.