At some point when I was in middle or high school, my sisters and/or I needed physical(s) for school and into the doctor's office piled our crew. I can only imagine the dread that poor doctor felt walking into our loud room. Well, it quickly disappeared into a genuine smile. Without being obtrusive and preventing what needed to be done from getting done, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. A joke here and there, a fit of laughter now and again, and the room was full of smiles.
“He wishes he could be a fly on the wall in our house,” Mom said about the doctor as we walked out to the car. Of course, we asked how she could tell. She explained the authentic smile and the twinkle in his amused eyes.
Since Mom mentioned that, I’ve seen the same smile and shimmer in the eyes of other people. A store clerk here; a passer-by there. Last week I saw it on the neighbors sitting on their pier.
The five of us had gone for an hour and a half boat ride where we chased bald eagles, spied on turtles, and stirred up wake with our pontoon boat. The ride had to come to a close as our stomachs growled in hunger, so we brought the boat in for lunch. A light breeze glided across the lake and we came in too far away from our pier to dock on the first try. Mom leapt off but couldn’t grab the boat and pull it in manually.
Dad backed up and we tried again. We’d been teasing him that for four days he brought the boat in perfectly on the first try but on days five and six he started to lose his touch.
On the second try, Mom grabbed the bow and almost fell into the water between the boat the pier. I might add that by now we were all rolling in laughter. Laura leapt onto pier but failed to grab the stern. The bow was all but tied down while the stern tried to sail of to sea again. Which, of course, was amusing because normally the stern, the part of the boat that steers, is easy to control while it’s the bow that misbehaves. Well, we decided coming in stern towards the lake wasn’t going to work, so (with the bow still tied down) we swung the boat around and successfully parked bow-out. Problem: the propeller was digging in the sand. They untied the bow and Dad, Christina, and I went back out in the lake and spun the boat around.
On try three, we crashed into the pier head-on. Oops. Try four we couldn’t grab hands with Mom and Laura. Dad offered up a fishing pole for extra length but we decided that wasn’t the best idea. Try five and all of our energy stretching between the boat and the pier as we held onto each other for dear life, we finally successfully docked the boat without throwing anyone into “the drink."
That’s when we realized our problem: this was an alcohol-free boating experience. Every other time when Dad docked, he had already downed a beer or two. No one fell into the drink, but Dad needed a drink. From their pier and in between uncontrolled burst of laughter the neighbors offered Dad a beer.
It’s no wonder we have a tendency to be the loudest people everywhere we go: we enjoy ourselves. We’re not going to let a little breeze stop of us from an amusing boat ride!