It has been said that if you give a man a fish he eats for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime. Since I already know how to fish, I thought I would add a little bit of wisdom to that old saying: If you teach your daughter to row a boat, you don't need to buy a trolling motor. I suppose I should really back up a bit and set the scene for you.
My family just returned from our (almost) annual vacation getaway to Seven Mile Lake in northern Wisconsin. My wife's side of the family has made this week long family reunion/trip to the lake every year for 39 years in a row....so far. I have been able to make it to a number of them in the past 8+ years we've been married. (I missed a few due to scheduling conflicts - not for a lack of an invitation.) There have been some obvious changes to this annual trip over the years as we have added children to our family.
This trip started out like all the rest. Google maps says it takes 6 hours and 9 minutes to get from our house to the lake. (For those of you with kids, you know that means 9 hours and 6 minutes.) I was impressed with my girls this year on the drive up to the lake. We set a new record on the time it took before one of the girls asked, "Are we there yet?" 6.3 miles into our trip was when we first heard the "are we there yet" question. As a little icing on the cake, at 7.2 miles, we got, "can we stop and play at that park?" In all seriousness though, the trip up went very smooth. There was very little bickering, no last second rushes to find a bathroom, and a generally good attitude about being cooped up in the vehicle for a long drive. I was really proud of myself....the girls did well too.Our arrival at the lake was reminiscent of my wife's childhood memories of everyone wanting to be the first into the lake. We didn't even have the vehicle in park and the girls were asking if they could start swimming in the lake. I am glad they have this great ambition to be in the water. Neither of them are very skilled swimmers and I was worried they would want to just play in the sand on the beach all week. (I was blessed to have a pool in my backyard growing up in Texas, so I learned to swim like a fish about five minutes after learning to walk.) My six year old even took a turn tubing behind the boat. For me that was half pride and half terror..ok, maybe there was a little more terror involved.