Kyle and Kayak
By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA
It was time for Kyle to experience his first kayaking adventure. We have been talking about it for some time, but he was always worried that the water was too deep. I explained to him that he would be wearing a life preserver, and that even if the water was deep, he would be able to float. He has no fear when in the pool even though in places the water is over his head. He is quite a swimmer, thanks to the swimming lessons that Jill coordinated for the last two summers. Even though he is comfortable in the pool, going out into the open water was another step that he was very apprehensive about. Even though I assured him he would be safe, and I would be right there with him, it wasn’t good enough for him, until the other day.
Cathy and I had Kyle and Ryan down at the beach when the idea of kayaking came up. The next thing I knew Kyle was all excited and he was ready to go for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised and if he was up for the challenge then most certainly was I. Now we had to get the kayak and all the gear ready. First, we had to get a life preserver that would fit Kyle. Of course, I had my own life vest, so I was all set. While getting the kayak and gear ready, I spent more time explaining to Kyle what we were going to do and how we were going to do it than the time we spent on the water. Finally, once we had everything that we needed, I rolled a kayak on the portable wheels down to the beach to launch. First, we donned our life preservers. Kyle carefully got in the kayak first and then I entered the kayak behind him. After some reassurances that he was ready to go, it was time to launch. With a firm push of the paddle, we were officially afloat. The first thing that Kyle said to me “Was the water deep yet?” And he proceeded to ask that same question every five seconds. Once he was comfortable with the idea of being out on the water, he settled in and was having a blast. He pointed and said, “Poppy I want to go to across the river to Branford Point.” He looked like George Washington guiding us across the Potomac River, not the Branford River. Therefore, I would fulfill his request and paddled towards Branford Point across the river. He was very aware of other boats and would warn me of “boats coming right at us”. Of course, we were never in danger, but he had a watchful eye. Once we arrived on the other side of the river, he was ready to explore further. Next, Kyle pointed to the sailboats that were docked in the slips. So, of course we had to paddle over to the sailboats so he could touch the side of one. We also got up close and personal with some of the large power boats and he was able to see the large motors and the propellers. He was fascinated. Simple things. I’m not sure who was having more fun, him or me even though I was doing all the work. We then made our way back across the river to look at some of the homes along the shoreline. The beautiful homes were of no interest to Kyle, he was more interested in grabbing the seaweed that was floating along on top of the water. He also asked me about sharks.
We made our way back to shore after our first successful kayak ride. Hopefully it was the first of many to come. Eventually, he will be able to take his own kayak out, but that won’t be for a while. He was so excited to tell his mom and dad about his water adventure. Now when Kyle comes to our house and sees other kayakers on the water, he has an entirely new level of interest in them. He points the kayakers out to me now and comments on how we had our experience and how much fun he had.
Over the years there have been so many first experiences with our grandchildren. Kayaking can now be added to that list. Life is good!
Ryan is still a little young to go out in a kayak, but his time will come…….and so will baby Eleanor’s.
Until the Next Tom’s Take…………………………