Sunday, July 28, 2013
Some things are not meant to fly despite how alluring the prospect might be. We were immensely enjoying a gorgeous summer day of frolicking in a cold northern Wisconsin lake, swimming, canoeing, waterskiing, and playing King Of The Mountain on the neighbors’ waterski ramp. We, the neighbor kids and all of our crowd of cousins, were all quite accomplished swimmers hailing from a variety of competitive swim teams and clubs, but the neighbor kids were additionally extremely accomplished water-skiers. We were willing skiers, but completely novice and a bit humorously so, especially in our none-too-graceful, highly unchoreographed falling. When there was a rather short but tired lull in the water activities, the suggestion arose that perhaps the next activity ought to be everyone taking his or her turn at attempting the waterski ramp. With doubting, yet highly curious hearts, all of the cousins volunteered to ride in the boat and spectate the daring feat performed by each of the neighbor kids. With special skis on, these kids effortlessly flew over the ramp, landed the jump with an elegant splash, and continued to ski past the friends and neighbors on the docks and on the shore whose mouths were agape in amazement at the flying exhibition they were witnessing. Over and over again with precision, perfection and seeming nonchalance, smiling to the crowds, and leaving us all in the boat fully speechless, the neighbors continued the show. Who’s next? We cousins all made certain our hands were well tucked into our pockets so that there could be no mistake about our fear-filled unwillingness to volunteer. That was not to be the option. We all needed to try. It was easy, we were informed. Needless to say, against our better judgment and our limited understanding of physics, we each took our turns. It was not nearly so elegant a sight. And the feeling off ascending the ramp, soaring off the top with the boat and all loved ones down below, flying in a superman-kind-of posture just beneath the clouds, and ultimately landing in a supreme belly flop at the end of the ski rope, was a never to be matched experience filed in the department of humiliation archives with an embarrassing touch of throbbing pain. We lived. We laughed. We learned beyond a shadow of a doubt, that some things are simply not meant to fly.