This morning I went kayaking with my daughters and various family members. It was lovely. My sister had arranged it and we had a guide so I didn’t even have to do any of the planning. In fact, I didn’t really have to do anything other than paddle, which is sometimes more than enough.
I have been kayaking before although I wouldn’t call myself a kayaker or really even generally an active, outdoorsy person. I mean, I’m up for things but I’m also generally fine staying at home doing my own thing. That being said, somehow, the idea of a kayaking trip is something that, in the days leading up to it, causes me moderate anxiety. Last night, I woke up a few times thinking about going kayaking: getting there on time, what I should bring, safety concerns for my kids especially, etc…. Have I always been like this? Perhaps it’s in part that the pandemic has had me so out of practice on things like getting to places at a specific time and has also added various health and safety concerns on top of those already present with something like kayaking (with kids). Will they need masks and hand sanitizer on top of needing sunscreen, water, and hats?
I feel the pull to do things with my kids and to take advantage of weather that will allow us to do more outdoors right now, but I’m not going to say that I don’t have my reservations and worries.
It turns out, of course, that I didn’t need to worry about any of these issues. At all. My husband was there to help make sure the kids were on-time, fed, and dressed appropriately. We made it more or less on time, but honestly no one seemed bothered one way or the other. The guide even said that we were a fast paddling group so in the end the timing didn’t matter. We got to see some unusual birds and other wildlife that our marine biology major guide pointed out. My kids seemed to enjoy the paddling (although I was in a kayak with Ms8yo and I think she would have preferred that I paddle faster; she prefers to be at the front to the back). The kids were perfectly capable of making sure that they are protected from the sun, hydrated, and masked when they need to be (and even sometimes when they don’t need to be).
And it was lovely and I have no regrets about going. I know that those sorts of things are really, really good for my kids in terms of building up their confidence (especially in these days of so many restrictions on their movement) and just having these sorts of experiences especially with their cousins and other extended family who they get to see so rarely these days.
And I know, too, that I need to cut myself a break sometimes. Parenting in a pandemic is hard. And having three kids under 12 who can’t be vaccinated isn’t making it any easier, especially with the Delta variant. Of course I’m going to be anxious about these things. But, of course, I can use good judgment (and rely on other like minded adults) to push through the anxiety. Which I did. Which is good.