Photo of The Day
Photo of the Day: Into The River
- Category: Photo of The Day: Pictures and Their Stories
- on Thu Mar 14, 2013
- by Mark Stephens on Thu Mar 14, 2013 - (1) Comments
It's never too early to start pining for summer — alas, when did the pining end? — although it might be a little cruel to visualize it for our brethren and sistren of the outdoor parenting kind living in snowier climes. Alaskans, Minnesotans, Oregonians, et al, please be forgiving. Or just go skiing to give the cruelty right back to me.
Not too long ago this little girl sat under a Baja palapa digging in the sand while the rest of us played in the crashing waves because she was too scared to get close to the water. She was 3 years old at the time. But now, at the wise age of 5, after swimming lessons and a fistful of trips to rivers, lakes, and oceans, she's the first one to the water. Last summer I took her out for a weekend of paddling and as we came back from a session on the water, we had to wait for the crowded ramp to clear out a bit. "Let's wait for these people to get out of the way first, kiddo."
She pointed to the lake's edge and said, "Can I just swim over there and wait?"
She caught me off guard. "Um, er, okay." She wanted to swim some 100 feet across the lake all by herself, which just surprised me. Like a typical of-sound-mind parent I sent her off with my one demand, "But be careful, okay?" Be careful. It's like the most ridiculous thing to say to a preschooler, but we do it anyway. It made me feel better in case her mom, my wife, asks about the trip. "Oh! She swam across the lake all by herself, but don't worry. I totally told her to be careful."
We'll never stop saying it, either.
Something else has happened as she's aged. She's learned some manners. Emphasis on some. We rolled into a sweet little camp next to this river last fall, the one you see pictured here, and from the backseat I heard her cute squeak, "Can I put on my swimming suit and go down to the river, please?"
She said please, and I melted. "Sure you can. Just be careful."
Head slap. There it was again. I am as lame as I thought my parents were, and there's nothing I can do to stop it.