Perhaps because I grew up cooling off in Boulder Creek near my parents' house, Cascade Park is my favorite summer place. The Stillaguamish River never disappoints.
When Adam and I were engaged and I came to visit him the summer we got married, he took me to Cascade Park. He swam me across the river while I clutched hold of him for dear life. It's still the only way I can get across the river. (A swimmer I am not.)
Adam has spent years teaching our kids how to swim in the river. We all have a healthy respect for deep water and swift currents. I love watching Braeden and Emma power across the river. They know how to use the current and how to look for eddies to get them where they want to go.
This year it was Mark's turn for instruction. In years past, Adam has ferried him across on his back. This year, there was some of that. Then they swam side by side. Then Adam stood on the edge and called instructions to Mark. "Big arms!" "Kick!" "Aim that way!"
It makes me happy.
They also practiced diving. There's a limestone edge on the opposite side of the river that makes the perfect perch to dive in where it's deep.
|Braeden helping Mark to dive. "Go over my hand."|
|Papa Bear shows how it's done.|
The pictures of Braeden and Adam look like they're doing yoga. Downward facing dog, anyone?
At one point, some other kids came to play at the river. One little boy, about ten, got into the current and was in trouble. He started yelling for help then he slipped under the surface. Adam acted quickly and plucked the little boy's flailing body above the surface. He is always calm in a crisis. Swimming with the little boy in tow, he instructed him to turn around and grab an inner tube (which Adam happened to be holding at the time). The little boy stopped screaming and stopped flailing and Adam swam him to shore.
(Then Adam went and told the parents of all the kids, who were picnicking up above in the field what had happened and that they needed to keep a closer eye on things. Soon there were whistles and calls for children and luckily, no more rescues needed.)
It's not the first time Adam (or someone in his family) has saved someone in that river. Maybe that's why he's so vigilant teaching our kids.
Whatever the reason, I am grateful. Because I am pretty much useless at swimming the river. I distribute snacks and sunscreen and read my book at the water's edge.
Saturday was hot enough that I actually got in the water a few times. Adam swam me across the river. It scared me. It's deep and swift. But it's kind of a metaphor for our marriage. I may whimper and protest and have to fight off panic when life throws me challenges at times but I'm always OK if I can hang onto Adam.
|I realized I don't have any pictures of Emma swimming. I promise she was there. She swam hard. Then she napped.|