Sunday, September 13, 2015

this year at big rock

Elliott has been talking all summer about how, this year, he is going to jump off of Big Rock.  Somehow that jump has become a rite of passage in our family, though I am yet to do it despite being the one in the family that has been coming here the longest.  Something Jonathan, then Nicholas, then Julia each willed themselves to do.  And for each person, the process has included several, many, kayak rides out to Big Rock.  Several turns back due to incoming bad weather, or scary teenagers -- horrors -- sunbathing on the rock.  Then there are the times when we get there and climb the stand there for upwards of an hour, considering the jump, only to finally relax, exhale, and decide not this time.  Which is okay, too.  

Jonathan and I have developed our routine at this point.  Not pushing, not coaxing, being mostly quiet.  Me in the kayak down below, watching and close by in the water, working hard to ready the camera in case it does happen and not to drift away down the lake in the process.  Jonathan typically up above for encouragement for whatever they decide.

But oh, the magic of being the youngest child.  

To be up there this time with two siblings who have done this before.  Who know it will take time.  Hours, weeks, years.  

Who know that seeing them do it first might help.  

That having someone in the water down below might help.

That being funny can ease the nerves.  And sometimes dancing helps.

Who give out tips and pointers, literally.

Who know that not all bent legs, plugged noses, and held breaths are going to actually end in a jump.

Who know that sometimes you want them to give you space, to look away, to give you a few moments to work this out.

Who know that, in the end, it is not really whether you jumped or not.  It's just another time we paddled out to Big Rock.  And thought about jumping.  And did jump many times over, in our minds.  And this time, took another step towards the plunge.

And we are all okay if you take your time.  There is no rush.  I am especially patient on this one, because bobbing and waiting and watching and focusing on him is such an important part of it all.

And also?  I am afraid I might be next.

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