Mags: "Don't be nervous, Mama. You got this."
Me: "But I've never been on water skis before. What if I fall?"
Mags: "Then you get right back up."
Me: "Thanks for the pep talk."
Mags: "You got it. Oh! And remember, this is a lake, so there aren't any sharks here. Just big fish. But they won't bite you. Well, they might bite you a little, but not like a shark. Have fun!"
We were at a lake house for a week with our friends. The first morning there, all the adults called a meeting. We sat the kids down and made a list of rules. My son started us off with the first rule of "No Boomerangs in the house." It went on from there in a hilarious manner. After we reached 15 important guidelines to keeping the peace in the house with 24 people...the ADULTS made some rules. They were:
1. Have fun.
2. Try something new.
3. Make memories.
Everyone took these rules seriously. Having fun was natural. Making memories was constant. Trying something new...well...that took some bravery. But that specific rule is the one I took to heart. One of our friends brought his boat and was taking everyone on tube rides. It was a BLAST! But then, he pulled out the water skis. I'd never tried that before, so I went along on the boat and watched. But I didn't ask to try. I wanted to, but I was too nervous to look foolish...to fail.
Throughout the day, I watched a lot of our friends get up on those water skis flawlessly. And then, after lunch, I walked out on the dock to see my husband in the distance pulling himself up and WATER SKIING! I was so proud. And then, I was determined. The "try something new" rule rang louder in my head. I confessed that I really wanted to try it to a friend of mine who sealed the deal by telling me,
"You can totally do it. It may take a bunch of tries, but who better to do it with than this group of people."
She was right. I was with a group of people that have known me for quite some time. A supportive group...a patient group...an accepting group. As soon as I saw the boat pull up to the dock, I jumped on and told my buddy I wanted to try to water ski. The reaction was what I expected.
"Alright! Let's go!"
Others joined us, including Mags. We took off on the lake until we came around to a deeper spot. My nerves started to build. Mags was holding my hand.
"Who's going first?"
And with a deep breath, I took the plunge. Literally. A quick tutorial was given. I was shaking as I fit the first ski to my foot. The second went on a little too quickly. I pushed myself in, questioning my sanity the whole time. What if I broke a leg? What if I face plant? What if the rope gets stuck on something? Before I knew it, I had cleared myself from the boat and motor. My friend tossed me the tow line and reminded me to keep it between my legs.
Suddenly, the motor roared to life and I almost bailed. I almost let go of the rope. But, I looked up and saw my friends on the boat cheering for me. I looked to my side and saw that Chris and Tuck had paddled out in the kayaks to give me a boost of support. And then, I heard it. From both my kids at almost the same time,
"Go Mama! You can do it!"
My friend made sure I was ready and before I could think...I was being pulled. My legs felt like they were caught in quick sand and my arms were being pulled forward at an alarming speed. The part of my brain that's in charge of coordination was shouting profanities at me. Right as I was about to react, I was down. The nerves were replaced by determination. I got those skis on again. And again. Until my arms gave way and I needed a break.
"You're SO close! Great job!"
I pulled myself up on the boat and rested while someone else took a turn. As I sat next to Mags, she patted me on the back and remarked,
"You were so brave. I'm so proud of you. You almost did it! Did you bring me a snack?"
The first three sentences warmed my heart and got me back out there moments later for one last try. I just wanted to get up without losing balance. Just once. Alas, I finally did get my butt out of the water, but that's as close as I came. It was worth it and Mags was right. It felt good to try. Next year...I'm all over it.
Now, we're hungry. Who brought a snack?