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Sunday, 12 July 2015

Enjoy the View

It was a balmy 30*C yesterday and the four of us, went kayaking down the Grand River, an hour and a half's drive from Toronto. We have been canoeing a few times but yaking was a first for us. When we canoe, we always get one for the four of us, with Nasir at the back doing all the heavy lifting, the kids in the middle, and me at the front, paddling from time to time and pretending to be Super Woman.

This time, we got two kayaks; Nasir and Zara in one, and Ali and me in the other. As soon as we shoved off, we hit mini-rapids. Ali and I both paddled furiously, and went in circles. Being a good parent, I did what all good parents do, I screamed at my 13-year-old, of course, it was all his fault. "Stop leaning to the right." "Stop leaning to the left." "Sit up straight." "Row in this direction" - while sitting behind him and by the way, the person at the back is responsible for steering. Then smartening up - "Row to the left" - meaning right. "No, no, the other left." Everyone knows that there are two lefts.

Forty-five minutes into it, we got finally got it, and the rest of the two hour ride was amazing. We saw a heron fishing, a black snake snoozing on a rock, a dead cray fish, clouds floating by, their reflection rippling across the water, and two teenage girls whose canoe overturned, screaming hysterically while standing in 3 inches of water on the side of the river. Funny, how quickly you become smug once you learn a bit of control.

Learning to kayak, minus the benefit of lessons, seemed like much in life; you start something new, you struggle, and grope around feeling like a fool, and then when you are ready to give up, but can't because you are just stuck (in a boat),  you finally get the hang of it and are glad for hanging in there (even though you didn't actually have a choice) and sit back and enjoy the view.