Sittin' on the Dock of the... Lake.
Written by: Jenny
Now, how I've lived in KC for almost 13 years and have never meandered to the Lake of the Ozarks is beyond me. Let me get that out of the way first! No idea. Everyone talks about the lake! My social feeds are filled with pictures from everyone's lake adventures! And of course, I heard about Party Cove a time or two. Not judging. I guess I just kinda figured that going to the lake meant a certain amount of partying and well, to be honest, those days are long gone for me.
So, my hubby's BFF from high school and his family own a lake house. They asked us to join them for a weekend. Honestly? At first, the idea didn't sound awesome to me. I work. Busy mom. My man travels during the week. Weekends are a sacred space and my favorite thing is to have ZERO things scheduled so we can just wing it and relax as much as we can.
I wasn't sure about driving a couple of hours on a Friday after work... would the kids be cranky? Are they too little to enjoy the things we'd be doing? Would I enjoy the things we'd be doing? Um, what exactly WOULD we be doing? I really had no clue what I was in for.
We caved. Well, actually, I caved. Matthew was all in from the start. We went. And, not only did my kids surprise me, I surprised myself.
Let me paint a little picture for you. I'm an indoorsy kind of gal. I've never been camping. Swimming in any water that isn't clear (or sort of clear) gives me the heeby jeebies. I'm not sure if I am making it up or if it's legit -- but ever since pregnancy, I get really motion sick. So, the thought of getting on a boat gave me anxiety. Speaking of anxiety -- my kids. Five and three. Even with life jackets -- walking on docks? Riding in a boat. Tubing. Gulp. The whole thing freaked me out.
We are diving into my weirdness here people, I promised to keep it real, so I am just speaking my truth!
First, the drive. No big deal at all. It was actually kind of nice to have a couple of hours in the car with just my people. Matthew and I caught up. I responded to emails. Got some stuff done. It was productive.
We arrived. Cell service peaced out. We were in the middle of nowhere. It was quiet. I didn't realize how much noise I was escaping. Life seemed simpler in an instant.
The first night, we all sat around the fire and roasted marshmallows. We ate s'mores. I love s'mores. I ate a lot of s'mores. Is that why they call 'em s'mores? Cuz you want s'more? Is that common knowledge?
The next day, the kids swam, my daughter tried out a kayak. We went out on the boat. Tubing. The wonderful family we were with -- they're lake lifers. I made that up. But, it's what they do. It's what they know. The kids have zero fear and do lake stuff with total confidence. They showed us how it's done.
I was a nervous wreck as our boat seemed to fly across the water -- the kids seemingly hanging on for dear life, but with enormous smiles across their faces! They were having a BLAST. Julianne (my five-year-old daughter) watched intently. She wanted a piece of the action. She hopped on and went for the ride of her life. She loved every second of it. I was one proud mama because she isn't a 'brave' kid. Always a little more on the timid side. This was a big day for her.
So, it was... my turn. I was not excited. I tried to get out of doing it. Then, I looked at my adventurous child and figured if she could do it, so could I. Ya know what? It turned out to the the most fun I've had in a long time. I was a little concerned about the spooky lake water spraying me in the face. I may or may not have had irrational fears about E. coli. But at some point, I didn't even care and I actually let loose.
Later that afternoon as the sun set and we sat around just RELAXING. Truly, enjoying nature and feeling more peaceful than I have in longer than I care to admit. I understood WHY people love the lake so much. It really is like a different world. At first, I was concerned about the lack of cell signal. I felt a little lost without my trusty phone, texts and emails by my side. By the end of the trip? I realized what a blessing that was -- to really shut down and turn off. To just be.
Stepping out of my comfort zone is something I need to do more often. This trip made me realize that. Really grateful for such sweet friends to help me do it this time around.