Thursday, September 13, 2012

Love at First Lake

Sometimes, as a parent, you're not sure what kind of kid you are going to have. Will they be risk takers, adventure seekers or will they prefer the comfort of a good book in a good chair in a quiet corner of their house? Will they be outspoken or shy? Will they be the kind of kid that needs to study hard or will it come easy for them? Will they be the one laughing at the jokes or cracking them? Will they like cheese?

When they're little, you can't always tell what they are going to be like, but sometimes...
When I was young, my family visited Rio de Janiero. We were at the beach and my father, as always, had his video camera - the monstrous kind from the 80's that you had to join a gym just to be able to carry and have a camera grip license in order to shoot. He documented everything and as such caught a moment on tape that was very telling to my life with water. 

Videoing me looking at the ocean he said, "Go in." And I looked at him and then back at the water and then at him again and very surely, with no doubt in my voice hummed, "No." Even with his famous taunts, "You're chicken," I was sure that as one of my mom's Cuban "dichos" goes "a mi no se me ha perdido nada ahi." (I haven't lost anything in there meaning that the only way I would go somewhere - in this case - the ocean - was to retrieve something I had lost.) I knew very young that the ocean, the sea, rivers, lakes, ponds, a bathtub with floating rubber duckies - any biggish body of water where little animals and things could be swimming in my immediate area was not for me.

But Rafa already seems to be a different story. She was a little over two months old the first time we dipped her little dangling feet into the ocean and other than an initial surprised by rushing water response she immediately sank into it, figuratively speaking of course. 

"My First Dip"

This summer she met with Lake Owassa. Husband Mike, who has long since loved his summers at the lake was excited (major understatement) to introduce his first born to the place he has referred to before as the best place on Earth. I can only imagine what went through his whole body and soul watching her play in that lake. 

To add excitement on top of happiness, we were able to not only watch Rafa swim in the lake but to watch her swim in the lake with Jake. Jake has been so many things to us that to list them all here would be a whole other blog story to tell, but believe me when I tell you that there is no shortage of special when it comes to the eyes in which we view Jake. Jake left work early, rearranged plans during the summer, and even set foot into a church (you'd have to know him to understand) to make sure that he was with Rafa as often as he could be. "Is Ella there?" He would ask if we were over, just wanting to make sure he wasn't rushing home on account of only Mike an I. (Insert smile that comes with knowing that people will now always say hi to your cute baby first and you second.)

I can't say for certain if Rafa will grow up to be book smart or street smart. I don't know if she will be a graceful dancer or have two left feet (doubtful, very doubtful). And I can't say if she'll be a competitive athlete or someone who doesn't really care for the game. But based off of the fun she had in the lake, I could almost guarantee that she'll love the water as much as her dad and Uncle Jake do... God help us all. 

...especially her fearful of the water mother.

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