My husband and I have always had a dream of owning a cabin and a boat. Literally for years we have been purchasing items for a boat that didn’t exist. We would hit a Cabalas sale and make a purchase for the “someday” boat. Every once in a while I would catch a glimpse of the skies hanging in our garage and laugh about the silliness of it all. (Yet very excited for the day when we would decide to purchase a boat instead of just talking about it).
Last fall we stumbled across a cozy little cabin at a very quiet lake about 45 minutes from our house. . It was everything we had ever dreamt about. As we toured the cabin we immediately began to talk about all the memories we would make. We pushed back the curtains to the large windows, I remember looking at my husband’s smile and us both shaking our heads in disbelief that our dream was about to become reality. We laughed at ourselves at being the only cabin owners at the lake last summer without a boat but loving every minute of our time there regardless.
As spring approached we decided to purchase a boat. Our kids were so excited! We literally parked the boat in our storage garage and spent a couple hours sitting in it talking about how “awesome” summer was going to be. The top priority of our summer list was signing my son and I up for boater’s safety school. My son is 14 and could legally drive the boat (if he passed the class) and I needed to take the class because I had no knowledge about “water rules”.
This past weekend my son and I spent 6 hours taking a boater’s safety course, yes, 6 hours! I am proud to say I only missed 4 questions on the exam (only to be out done by my son he missed only one). We decide that yesterday we would devote time to actual practice on the water, I felt confident that driving a boat was going to be a piece of cake, after I all I had taken I boaters 101 from the dealership on the operations of the boat and boaters safety to know the rules of the water. I was ready to go!
After we had gotten the boat in the water my husband got up and said, “Here you go”, and I forze in my seat, I looked around at my kids in their life jackets, I looked at all the buittons that were supposed to mean something, and I could hear the boat idling away waiting for me… In that moment panick over took my confidence. I started remembering the “horror” stories or safety instructor had told us about. My husband laughed and told me everything was fine. he would be there for questions and to help if needed. I didn’t want my kids to see me not try to I moved into the drivers chair and slowly started out on the lake.
The whole time my mind is racing, I am trying to remember all the rules of the water, stay right, look for boats, bouys. skiers, swimmers, etc. and my kids are begging for us to go faster than 5 miles per hour. I had to look like a complete idiot on the water. The first time a boat was coming toward me I shut our boat off. I was to scared to keep plunging forward in case the oncoming boat decided to change directions (then what would I do) It was the moist unrelaxing experience ever. Thankfully I had my sunglasses on so the kids couldn’t see the disappointment I had in the anxiety that was taking over this “dream” experience. What was happening to me, I never cry! Why was I feeling panicky instead of confidence? I think that my husband was shocked by the reaction I was having. The rules of the water are much different than the rules of the road. It took me hours to become comfortable driving around lake. (I really wish that there were water traffic signs) My kids stared poking fun at my driving which helped me relax a little. It took me 6 attempts to pull the boat up next to the dock. As I was walking off the boat I should have been feeling this sense of accomplishment but I honestly I felt only relief that the driving lesson was over.
What’s next… despite my self-doubt my husband is planning on showing me how to pull tubers and skiers this coming weekend. I try to smile and think no big deal but honestly I am shaking inside.