Wednesday, September 3, 2008
One Story, Five Pictures
Vacation was absolutely exhilarating, but I let too much time go by before posting about it. The relaxed and hopeful lexicon I'd have used to relay stories has been trodden a bit by back to school preparations and, to be frank, freak outs. But those confessions are for another day.
So I will tell one story (of moderate length by my standards, I promise) and post pictures, hoping they give a taste of just what a complete pause our week up north is every year. There is no room in our Jetta for the four of us, stuff we need for a week, AND all our concerns. Something's gotta be left behind. Amazingly, we pick worries and obsessions to lob off deck as we motor towards the one week a year where time doesn't exist.
Cate remembers heading to Door County every summer of her life. There are certain things she needs to do there in order to make it the holiday it was the year before. I guess that's what they call tradition. Miniature golf is high on her list at the age of 9, as are go-karts. I was not a particularly adventurous kid outside of book choice and trying out new vocabulary on my siblings, so go-karts and bumper cars always meant the same thing to me - shabby little cars made with no standards that spark as we crash in to each other - in short, something I'm not getting in to. But as a mother, I now understand that bumper cars and go-karts are completely different vehicles and therefore experiences. Alas, I still didn't care to set bun in either one.
But Cate and her dad had to do it one day on vacation after Addie tolerated mini-golf quite well. Addie and I decided to wait outside the chain link fence so we could get a better view (IE, pictures) as Michael and Cate zoomed by in their 2-seater go-kart. Addie was excited enough to watch, but when she honed in and recognized Dad and sister in a car, she seemed to get a little anxious. It actually looked quite like I imagine my face must look as I witness people I love having fun...with reckless abandon. Yeah! You're loving it and I love you, so the look on your face is always my goal, but ugh, you could totally croak doing that... but I guess I should keep that thought on the down low and celebrate your joy... Sort of a pulled in at the corners smile, weakly accentuated by eyebrows raised unnaturally high.
After the ride, Cate skipped up to us asking if she could now be the passenger while I drove the kart. Uh. No. The silent no - no, that goes too fast, the seat belts don't really seem all that secure, I can actually envision taking a corner too sharp and ejecting you, my sweet thing, and I don't know how we'd paste all your skin back on. The verbalized no - "No, not today. It made Addie really nervous to see you both go by so fast. Let's do something we all like now."
I should have foreseen the moment when Cate and I were tooling around upper Door County by ourselves, about to pass the go-karts. But I did not. We'd been to the bead shop and I'd assumed that she'd want to go back to the cottage and create the loudest, largest, most ostentatious wearable baubles we could, as is also tradition. But the karts speak louder than venetian glass beads at her tender age, so the following conversation ensued, back seat to front seat, in a pleading tone on both sides:
Mom, the go-karts are coming up. You said you didn't want to do it with Addie watching, but she's back at the cottage with Dad. So?
Awe, honey, we've been gone a bit, don't you want to get back?
Uh, well. I mean. What about the beads we just bought, want to do something with those?
We can do that any time. C'mon mom, please. It is so fun.
Ok, I'll be honest. Go-karts scare me a little bit and I've never been on one.
Really, I've never done it and I'm nervous and scared. You and dad went really fast. I trust Dad's driving more than my own.
(About 4 second of silence, then Cate resumes in a very resolved, confident tone.)
Ok, mom. You let all your nervous feelings out right now to me. Say anything you want. Then we'll get in the kart and all you have to do is believe in yourself.
I turned on my left blinker and pulled into Johnson's Park. Within 6 minutes I was driving a go-kart and having the time of my life. My own mother probably would have had to look away.
Posted by Terri H-E at 12:10 PM