So I just finished a quick write-up about our family and it really got me to thinking about how much we’ve evolved and how every small step we’ve taken has led us to the exact spot we’ve always wanted to be. We are living our dream life and having a blast. I can’t believe how simplifying and channeling our desires has led to a life of freedom and excitement and enthusiasm and total FUN! We just left FIBArk and it was there that I realized just how profound an impact this lifestyle is having on us all. We are together every day. We are each others best friend, we rely on each other for everything, no outside friends, no outside influences. We support each other, cheer for each other, encourage each other, coach each other, look out for each other, laugh at and with each other and have fun together. We don’t take ourselves too seriously either. Fun is what we are all about, it’s what our whole lives have been about. It’s just that kayaking takes fun to a whole other level. In all seriousness, being together in the water, whether it be surfing, rafting, body boarding, SUP’ing, floating, tubing or whatever, is FUN!
It’s also enriching and power building, both physically and emotionally. It’s a true fact that many of our kids are emotionally tougher than me. I know, I know, you all are saying, “Susie you are an emotional rock, how can this be?” While I catch the sarcasm dripping from your words, I can’t deny it any longer. These kids of ours handle defeat better, they handle stress better, they handle fear better, they handle social situations better, peer pressure better, in short, they handle life better than I ever have. They are such strong, confident, and faith-filled young adults that I’m nothing short of awe struck. They have mastered the skills that so many of us adults struggle with on a daily basis. They are able to take punches and bounce back. Kayaking forces you to control your mind, to manage your fear, if you let it get a hold of you, you will eventually crumble.
Just one example: this weekend Dally got royally worked in the really manky sketchy hole, he struggled just to get out of it, let alone throw any tricks, though he did manage to pull off a loop. On his 3rd and final ride he went for a Space Godzilla, didn’t get any pop, rolled into the meat and was window shaded 3 or 4 times — I know how I was feeling watching him, I can’t imagine what Dally was thinking. Finally, he pulled his skirt — very rare — and swam. Something wasn’t right, I could tell. Come to find out, he cracked his boat, and got slammed in the face by a large piece of wood as he was upside down. After a few minutes he proclaimed, “That was so fun.” WHAT? I’m shaken and concerned that his 10 year old psyche might be shaken and he’s thinking it was the best ride of his life! This is the same kid that hit a rock with his face on Foxton (river near Denver), ended up with 7 stitches and was begging for us to take them out so he could get back in the water! Here I am, 37 years old, hit a rock while surfing, had 6 stitches and was hoping they’d stay in for life so I wouldn’t have to get back in … my confidence was shaken, he was emboldened. Lessons, from an 8 year old — buck up, mom.
I’m driving away from Salida, CO after an epic weekend at FIBArk 2012, in as much awe as I’ve ever been of ALL of my kids. Seriously, the tables are turning, they are beginning to take the lead and we are ready to relinquish some control. They are mapping out the next stops, first Missoula, MT, then Cascade, ID, then to wherever else their hearts desire. Let the learning never end, let the adventure never cease and let the fun be ever flowing!!!