Monday, July 28, 2008

A Wise Decision

My husband used to live a very exciting life. His college years are filled with tales of travels all over the world, spending time on boats and motorcycles, throwing huge parties with his fraternity buds, living in London and New York, sky diving, skiing, scuba diving, and whatever else pops into your head when you think of adventure. It was quite a life. He worked hard in order to play hard. And he had a great time.

Then he met me. On our first date I can recall his questions:
Todd: "Do you ski?"
Me: "No, but I'd love to learn!"
Todd: "Have you ever been to Europe?"
Me: "No, but I'd love to go!"
Todd: "Have your tried scuba diving?"
Me: "No, but I've always wanted to."

And so on and so on. He walked away from the date feeling like he'd come across as an arrogant ass (though I didn't see him that way) and I felt like a boring, simple, little girl (and he swears he didn't see me that way). Time and our relationship went on and we flew to Europe together. And then he taught me how to ski. We went on motorcycle rides. And we'd hike through the woods too. He was always so good at making my life, our life, exciting.

When we got married the motorcycle was sold to save some money. And after we had children the ski trips became less frequent. Our thrifty nature and our three kids kept us from buying another motorcycle or taking more trips to Europe. In the past few months I could feel a pulling from Todd. A pull toward that life he used to know. Never did I doubt his love for his family, or for his life now, but I knew he missed a part of himself too. And I know how that can feel.

He had talked before about buying a motorcycle but knew it would be a few years before the boys would be able to go for rides with him. He felt selfish for looking into an expensive "toy" that would be strictly for his use no matter how much he would enjoy it. When he thought about buying a boat he knew it would be something the whole family could enjoy. When he started looking on Ebay for boats I knew he was on to something. I could feel his excitement ready to bubble over at the prospect of having this kind of fun back in his life.

After months of searching, a mechanics inspection, and several phones calls and emails to the owner, Todd brought this home on Saturday.

Needless to say, the boys were thrilled. All four of them.

We immediately took it down to the harbor for our first ride as a family. Todd was a happy man. And I was happy for him and his dream, realized.
Todd often talked about how he and his friend would anchor the boats on the sandy beaches of Oshkosh, drinking, playing football, eating, and having a good time. So on Sunday, despite Tommy's pukefest the night before, we headed out to Lake Winnebago to do just that. Well, minus the binge drinking, of course.
I was a little nervous that Todd's memory of the fun and the reality of doing it now with three little ones in tow might clash, but it didn't. The water was horrendously choppy, we were bouncing around the boat like popcorn in a kettle, and Tommy was still a bit under the weather, but it was still a great time. The boys were in heaven. We anchored our boat and the boys jumped into the warm sandy water and splashed and played with our friends' children to their hearts' content. Even little Tommy was too excited to be sick.

And Todd, well, he was grinning from ear to ear. It seems the wife and three little boys made his warm memories of boating even warmer.

69 comments:

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Looks like you had the perfect day for it, too! You sound like a happy ever after story if I ever heard one:)

imbeingheldhostage said...

aaawww, that's a fantastic post! What a wonderful, supportive wife you are (you know, going along with all of that fun stuff) ;-) What a great summer you are having. Does it make up for that loooong winter?

wright said...

That does sound like fun. I'm sure that having you and the boys there made it even better!!!

Jeni said...

WOO HOO! The boat sounds like a perfect way for Todd to enjoy "tooling" around and for the whole family to be included as well. And by the looks of the pics of the family, sure does appear to be fulfilling for all concerned! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Chrissy said...

Oh, what a great toy! My husband wants one, too, but we live nowhere near a body of water.

I have great childhood memories from my dad's boat, waterskiing and fishing, and it looks like your boys will, too. Congrats!

Kelley said...

What fun! I'm so glad Todd was able to get such a fun toy, and that the whole family can enjoy it together. I'm so happy for you. :D

Kristen said...

Awwwww, I am so excited for the two of you! 5 of you actually, but still.

I have to say that I totally thought you were going to say you got a Harley.

But I have to tell you that we too understand about the need to reconnect with who you were before the kids. I truly think it helps to make you a better parent!

Again, Congratulations on your new addition!! :)

Cassie said...

That's awesome. You guys will have so much fun making new memories! I'm jealous :)

Mom24 said...

A Wise Decision indeed. Congrats! Have lots and lots of fun.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Looks like a great time! A boat is something we hope to purchase in the future.

lime said...

i really have to say you are wise to understand the need in his life and he is wise to have found a way to fill it and include his family in so doing. you both really are blessed.

Catwoman said...

How fun!!! And you guys will have many years of memories on that boat! It's something that I always tell Sweetie Pie that in a few years, when the baby's out and able to enjoy it, we'll get one... Just not ready to commit to that kind of money right now with a baby on the way! :)

A Buns Life said...

That's fabulous!! Just think of all the new summer memories that will be made....honestly I feel the happiest when I am out on a boat, soaking up the sun and feel the splash of the water. Skiing is just so much fun too! I'm happy for you all!!

Kathryn said...

Imbeingheldhostage- Yes aren't I just such a supportive wife to let him introduce such fun in our lives? ;) hehe And yes, it does kind of make up for the long winter.
Chrissy- We literally have about 20 lakes within an hour of us and Lake Michigan harbor within 5 minutes. It would be stupid NOT to have a boat, right? ;)
Catwoman- I'm not sure a baby would enjoy a boat anyway. hehe This boat was so cheap (much less than the Harley he was looking at) that it was just begging us to take it. It was meant to be!
A Buns Life- I can't WAIT to try water skiing!!!

Weber said...

What a wonderful post! I'm so happy for all of you. Looks like fun!

scrap chair potato said...

How exciting! That is an awesome family purchase. Looking forward to lots more fun pictures of your cute family on the lake!

kirsty815 said...

My hubby opted for the Motorcycle..lol He ended up with a Triumph. Although now he's been talking about a boat being that two of our neighbors recently aquired one. I think he wants to have his cake and eat it too. ~wink~ I'd love a pontoon boat for the rivers around here.

kirsty815 said...

PS You gotta knee board that's so much fun! Ohhhh and get one of those big innertubes for you and the boyz to get pulled around, lots of fun!

Kathryn said...

Kristy- Ooo! A Triumph. We were looking at one of those too. They rock!
And the boat came with skis, two inner tubes (top quality ones at that!) and a whole crapload of lifevests. Sooo cool. :)

WomensDaily said...

That looks like the perfect way to add some more adventure!

Sandy C. said...

That is so sweet. That's wonderful he was able to get himself something you all can enjoy :) Those pics are wonderful! The boys look so happy,..all of them ;)

Elaine A. said...

What a wonderful way to present this to your readers! I mean you could've just said "my husband bought a boat" but you made it so much more than that Kathryn.

Looks like you and your 4 guys are already using the boat the fullest! : )

painted maypole said...

fantastic! my brother and SIL have a boat, and my SIL swears it's better than marriage counseling, because now they spend all their time together on the boat. they take the kids, or sometimes the grandparents watch so they can go and hang with their adult friends. There is a whole boating crew they get together with and everything.

david mcmahon said...

What a beautiful post (as always) Kathryn.

Thank you for the wondeful, generous comment on my `Blank Stair' post about advice to writers.

You made my day.

Dawn said...

That was a wise decision! Your whole family will have so much fun together.

Hilary said...

That's so much better than a motorcycle. Sounds like you'll be having many more great days like that ahead of you.

Molly's Mom said...

Congrats! What a fun thing to have! And there is nothing better than boating on the big lake, in my opinion :)

ann said...

Boys and their toys! What a winsome way of talking about changing priorities. Lovely!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

How great! What wonderful family fun! Y'all look like you're enjoying every minute!
And I had forgotten we were both married to Todds. (That came out funny. I do know my husband's name, just not yours!)

Amy said...

Awesome! A boat is on our list too, one day!!

CC said...

Your boys are going to have so many great memories of that boat one day!!!!!!

Indy said...

Your hubby looks so happy in his new boat. Is he going to name it after you? Hint!Hint!

Kelly said...

That's an awesome story!

We used to have a boat and spent many hours on the ole Miss. River with our friends. Luckily our inlaws still have theirs for when we need a boating fix. Enjoy that!! You guys will make many awesome memories in that!

Lisa said...

What a sweet post. I just love your family, Kathryn & I can feel the love you have for Todd & your boys through your words. What wonderful memories you will create with that boat! Congrats!

Roxy Wishum said...

Way to go Todd! Way to go supportive, understanding wife! Maybe later--motorcycle with sidecar?

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I think that is a great boy toy for all four of the boys. It's the gift that keeps giving memories. I don't think Todd regrets any of it.

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

Hey. It did something weird and chopped my comment. It said: I don't think Todd regrets anything, you and the boys are his world.

Immoral Matriarch said...

Aaahhh that looks like a great day! :)

EatPlayLove said...

How fun and exciting, for the whole family!

Karen said...

I'd better not show this post to my husband. We don't need him drooling all over our new keyboard.

Tam said...

OOOO what a great time it looks like you all had. What a great post.

Lindsay said...

That was a great post - made perfect sense, and made your hubby so HAPPY - youc an see it in his eyes....especially since he can have fun WITH his family. Bonus.

Thanks for stopping by!

Kellan said...

Congratulations to Todd - how fun!! It is going to offer so many great times and memories for your family - your boys!

Take care - Kellan

Golightly said...

Sounds like this is win-win for everyone! Congratulations on being new boat owners - how fun!
God really blessed you with your knight-in-shining-armor!

melissa said...

that is so awesome!! and, not as dangerous as motorcycles, i think!!! congrats on the new toy...one that the whole family can enjoy!!!
xoxo

Stephanie said...

How fun!! I love boats - and what a perfect way for him to get some adventure and include the boys and yourself! You guys look so happy. I expect to see many more pictures like this in the future ;)

MamaGeek said...

How awesome! We grew up on a lake, so I'm partial anything boating related. Enjoy!

Wendi said...

We love the water and boating.
It is our favorite thing to do as a family.
No matter how many times Chad goes fishing.
No matter how many times he takes the kids tubing.
I still can't seem to wipe that ginormous grin off his face!!!
Welcome to life with a boat!

Elizabeth said...

SO SWEET...boys and their toys...i've heard they just get bigger as they get older. :-) very cute photos, too!

Brittany said...

Ohh a boat! I am slightly envious! We hope to own a boat someday.

Andy thinks he's buying a motorcycle in the next couple of months. I am still trying to discourage it. ugh. lol

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh how fun! That was a great story, too!

Steph

maggies mind said...

Love, love, love everything about this post, and the pictures are just awesome. Seriously a good looking and happy looking bunch you all make.

Krystyn said...

Yay! What a nice boat! It's awesome that you were able to find something that could make all of the boys (and mommy) happy!

Mark Salinas said...

Great story! We have a boat and love it! Thanks for sharing :)

Debbie said...

My four children are now grown adults but we all have fun memories of our boat. Well, except for the time(s) the boat broke down or the time(s) Marine Patrol stopped us but other than that, our memories are great! All of my kids love to waterski and tubing is still a favorite 'sport' in our family. Wishing you many sun filled days!

MizFit said...

HOW SWEET IS THAT?!


MizFit

Robyn said...

I'm glad you went with the boat. It looks like you guys had a blast. We talk about a boat every so often, but alas nothing yet.

Tonya said...

That is awesome. My dad has a boat and we go on it all the time. Fun times! Great purchase.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

My husband found waverunners an "Acceptable" replacement for the long-long-gone motorcycle (we started with twins and that motorcycle just made no sense anymore). Now he wants a boat, too! [Silly boy.]

Looks like you had a wonderful day despite the prior prelude -- glad the choppiness didn't upset Tommy's tummy more.

LaskiGal said...

I see a world of watery fun in your future!

How awesome is that???

just jamie said...

Oh, what fun memories are ahead for you all. What a supportive wife you are. I could learn a thing or two from you.

Cara said...

My husband loves watersports and had all kinds of thing (waverunners, jet ski's etc) prior to getting married. He too sold things to finish paying for school and such. Now with 2 kids its pretty tight. I can't wait till the boys are a little older and we can get them involved and get my husband back on the water.
Looks like you all had a good time in the boat, the boys look great in their life jacket.

Bren said...

That is so awesome! Aside from being completely jealous because I've always wanted a boat, I am happy for you guys. I'll bet the memories he's going to make with you and the boys will surpass those old ones. By miles!

Congrats!

Karen MEG said...

I loved how you set up this post with the wonderful dating memories and moved into a lovely day of boating with your boys. (Lovely boat, BTW, you'll have some wonderful family time with that... and yes, SOOOOO much better than a motorcycle).

Cannot believe I haven't been reading your blog longer! You are such a great writer, Kathryn...

And you've got a kindred spirit in me. When I was dating hubs there was always a part of me that wondered what he saw in me because I hadn't done a lot of that athletic, adventurous stuff. But the thing he said about me was that I was always willing to try pretty much anything. Thank goodness for that!

Nissa said...

Woo hoo! Now that's a toy for everyone! Can I come for a ride? :) It's been forever since I've been on a boat.

Laura said...

AWESOME! Enjoy!

beth said...

What a wonderful story. Balancing our old selves and our new selves can be so hard, but it sounds like you guys have found the perfect compromise. Enjoy!

Monica said...

That's great ~ sounds like everyone is happy!

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