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Sunday, July 29, 2007

I was supposed to be watching the kids?

This weekend at the reunion, Sandy made an interesting point.

Just as I was putting on Karen's life vest and preparing myself to waterski for the first time in over 10 years, Sandy walks over to me and said, "You're supposed to be watching the kids." I looked around. Alex and Owen were happily playing in the water, and Annika has her lifejacket on and was swimming in the two foot deep water. Surely, this was a only a ploy to keep me from hurting myself.

I put on the skis, put my tips up, and was towed out toward deeper water. As Buck indicated that they were ready, I yelled the only appropriate thing I knew to say in that situation. In a few seconds I was up and crossing the wake, trying to get what little air I could. I had a good run til I fell down, from which it took a few more tried to get up. I fell down once more, and got up again and they towed me back to shore, where I let go of the tow rope and came in for what I thought was a successful finish.

My only problem with the experience was that as I had my glasses off, I really couldn't see who was there. I couldn't see the kids or Sandy. All I could see was the boat and the water. After another hour, we headed up to the main house and all sat down for a some home movies of my families seemingly-idyllic life in the 1960s. It showed Christmas past, tanned Minnesota enjoying the beach at Rock Lake and the company of each other, and there was plenty of footage of everyone water skiing.

When I questioned my Mom about this tonight, she admitted that water skiing was a part of her past. I hadn't known. What I remember about Rock Lake was picking up clams by the dozens, which I always thought I probably shouldn't be doing, and lining them all up and down the dock to bake in the sun. (Though, according to Don yesterday, they are a complete menace and they like nothing better than having them picked up out of the sand where they can cut people's feet.) What I also remember about Rock Lake is my Mom and other grownups sitting around talking while we played. Maybe I am disremembering, but I don't think my Mom ever got out there on skis where I could see her! Maybe if she had I would have thought differently about her. Who knows. I like knowing what my Mom did when she was my age. It makes me like I know her just a bit more.

So as I sit here, I'm thinking that in fact, there are times when we should NOT be watching the kids. But in fact, the kids should be watching us. Maybe when we are a few years older, I will look up and see Owen and Alex in the boat. Owen will be cooling himself off with a brew, and Alex will be looking back at me, that thoughtful look in her eyes. Sandy and Annika will be in front, Annika at the throttle. Owen will look over his shoulder at the GrannE in the bow, sunning herself in a floppy hat and flip flops. Annika will check the switch, and I will yell the only thing I know to yell in such a situation...