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.