from the water

Last weekend I made a quick run to the lake to visit my family.
I dreaded the drive. It’s close to four hours, which isn’t too bad.
But it had been a long week.
I hadn’t slept great.
And it was just me and my 2 year old.
My 2 year old that screamed a good portion of the way there.

But not long after exiting 45, the last stretch, a long windy road that takes me up the back side of the lake, I started crossing bridges.
And the second I hit the water something in me began to settle.
My husband comes from mountain people.
And I do love the mountains.
But I come from the water.

My annual family vacation growing up was always the beach.
I was wading in and out of waves, boogie boarding and collecting seashells and throwing back oysters on the half shell long before kindergarten.
Somewhere around middle school my parents bought a sailboat.
And dragged me down to the bay almost every weekend.
I was at the age where I wanted to spend my weekends on the phone or meeting boys at movies.
Instead I was reading books on the bow and trying not to get hit in the head with the boom.
I soaked in the salty air and worked on my tan on the deck.
Eventually they traded in the 33 foot Ericson for a place on the lake and a much smaller boat.
But still on the water.

And summers were spent at camp on the Guadalupe. From age 11-21.
The earthy river water mixed with that horrible vinegar alcohol mix they always dropped in our ears smells like summer to me.
Plus SunIn and baby oil and beer.
I canoed and fished and shot the rapids and jumped off the occasional bridge.
We picnicked and played volleyball and danced and pushed people in.
And on our days off, we often found ourselves back in the river. Floating in borrowed inner tubes sipping beers we had talked someone of age into buying for us.
But mostly we sat on the shore and laughed and had real conversations.
They ones that never seemed to come quite as easily at home.

And so last Friday night, I walked in and both my parents were already asleep.
And I quickly slipped out the back door and down the dock.
It was dark and quiet and the earthy water smell filled my lungs.
I went to the end of the dock and held Tess tight and laid down right there on the dock.
Full out. Arms splayed. Not worrying the least about splinters.
I breathed deeply and looked at the stars and soaked it in.
My sweet kid cuddled on my chest.
And I told her stories and listened to the waves gently swaying the dock.
To the boat lines knocking quietly on the hull.
And I tried to catch it all.
The stillness that was filling me.
That I have needed for weeks.

And my heart felt warm and full.
And my chest felt strangely warm.
Really warm.
And wet.
Really wet.
And then I realized that my sweet girl had just peed on my chest.
So much for liking the water.


Young Mom said...

Awwwww, I know what you mean about powerful memories! And the pee just made me laugh, I have a 2 year old at just about the same stage. :)

samskat said...

Yeah, the peeing made me giggle. And I know that calm feeling. Sometimes I get it just thinking about Mo-Ranch. Especially as we get close to Memorial Day weekend, when my family still goes down there. Even if I'm not going. (And if I am, the stillness is quickly followed by a flutter of anticipation...)

Kate said...

I am a water person too. Isn't it funny how kids can turn things on their heads so quickly?