A day to remember at Okanagan Lake

We’re coming off a week-long boating vacation with my family in Vernon, B.C. I’ll have many more details to come but it was on our second day I was so darn proud of my kiddos. They’ve never tried wakeboarding and have had a strange/unhealthy fear of it, which is surprising given how many adventures they’ve been on and what stellar alpine skiers they are.

But all the grandkids were given the same edict: you need to try at least three times. If you don’t want to do it after that, fine. But you need to at least try.

My sister-in-law Jane is the perfect teacher. Not only is she patient but she gets down in the water with them and walks them through every step.

Eleven-year-old Connor was first. An excellent athletic and superb hockey player (his team is nationally-ranked), it was no surprise to anyone when he popped up and boarded around the lake.

Next came darling 6-year-old Naomi who got up..and then down a few times, an awesome effort given how little her legs are.

My brother Jade’s son Jaxson had us laughing the most. Extremely cautious, he kept babbling to Jane over and over again “do you know how dangerous this is?”

Cousin Jaxson, the epitome of cool

Yep, how can you tell and Bode are related?

With each passing kid, we could see Hadley increasingly freaking out on the dock. “Get her on the board now,” Jamie called out. When she gets worked up about something, it takes her a long time to talk her down.

She dragged herself over to cousin Emily who set her up on the wakeboard and over to Jane.  After a few minutes of instruction, she yelled “hit it.” At first, Hadley’s expression was panic but within a couple of seconds, she popped up and was cruising around the lake. She was the only one who was surprised–I absolutely knew she could do it. By her second run, she was already carving back and forth and begged to go again after all the kids had their turn.

Wakeboarding Hadley

Bode was next. He was surprisingly nonchalant on the dock and started to look worried when he went in the water with Aunt Jane. His first attempt was a flop (literally) and that was when he got scared, realizing it was tougher than he had thought to get up. Then he had another failed attempt. By now, he was scared. Tears started flowing down his cheeks as Jane soothingly talked him through his final attempt. “This is it,” I thought. “He’s so freaked out there is no way he’ll be able to do it.”

But gosh darn if he didn’t muster every ounce of determination that he had in that little body. As the boat started to drag him, he leaned forward and fought, fought, fought his way up, almost falling several times but eventually regaining his balance and was standing. He proceeded to wakeboard for several miles until my brother called out to him that it was OK to let go of the rope. :-)

Bode fighting to get up

I’m telling you I’ve never been more proud of him. I want him to always remember this day. How he tried something hard, something he never thought that he could do. How he worked through his tears, conquered his fears and literally floated on water.

That day was one to remember.

Other Posts