Initially it seemed like a grand idea.
This past Sunday was the first sunny (albeit windy) day we had seen in quite some time. The kids were anxious to do something special, and my good-natured husband fortuitously scored a friend’s boat for the day. We packed lunches, bundled the kids and headed out at as quickly as possible to Key Biscayne.
The marina was quiet. The inlet’s water softly lapped the shore as pelicans calmly approached people for morsels of food. The children spied in the near distance kite surfers skimming the beaches. Excitedly we held our fishing poles as B negotiated the boat on the water. We boarded the boat and I counted my blessings.
Three minutes later I started to bite my nails. The dock’s inlet had been deceptively calm. Moments after exiting the inlet, the bay’s forceful currents tossed us about the boat as we steered toward calmer waters. The water relentlessly splashed us, our kids excitedly yelled, and I fought my mounting nausea.
We found a spot and anchored. B quickly tended the fishing rods for the kids, set up the fish chum while I warmed the kids. Seagulls shrieked insults as they hovered overhead. The bay repeatedly swelled beneath our boat making me squirm as though I were riding the back of a sea giant. All the while my children laughed at the seagulls, shrugged away the chill, and impatiently waited for the fish to hook on the line.
I counted the minutes. Exactly how long do I have to wait before I suggest that if we don’t go back soon, I will surely come to a grievous end? My nails were bitten off and I was certain my skin was unattractively green. Clearly I don’t have sea legs. I sat alone with my growing anxiety wondering how to rescue our children if the boat capsized. This is what I do best when I am not thinking clearly.
The good thing is that my kids were as far removed from my panic as white is from black. Despite the turbulent water and the whipping wind, my daughter, in a matter of minutes, managed to hook a fish.
Every child deserves at least one triumph like this, no matter the price you pay.
What a great day.
March 15, 2010