For Mother’s Day, I wanted to go boating at Lake Michie with my family. My 3-year-old, JoJo, and I are going camping with my brother and father on an island in Lake George, N.Y., in June. I thought it was a good idea to have a practice run, since she hadn’t been in a boat before. My preference was for a rowboat, but when we got there, the only rowboat they had left had a hole in it. So we took a canoe.
We had gotten a paddle for JoJo and she had brought her backpack with her Barbie fishing pole and umbrella. She was having a good time paddling and practicing her casting. She complained every once in a while that we splashed her when we were paddling. She was having trouble sitting still in the middle of the boat: I told her that if she didn’t sit still that she was going to get us all wet.
I’m not sure exactly how it happened since I was in the front facing forward, but somehow, we flipped over. I can only assume that a wind gust caught JoJo’s umbrella at the same time that she leaned over the side.
We were OK. We all had our life jackets on and were close to shore. We managed to grab JoJo immediately after she went in. When we came up, my husband Jon said, “Fuck!” Then JoJo said, “Fuck!” Jon said, “Don’t say that.” Then he said, “Damn!” Then JoJo said, “Damn!” Then he said, “Don’t say that.” She was surprised and cold but I don’t think overly traumatized.
Some people fishing nearby came over to help us. They took JoJo aboard and put a sweatshirt on her while Jon and I righted the canoe. We decided that it would be too much to put JoJo back in the canoe and asked for a ride back to the dock. When we got back, some other nice people gave us some dry clothing to put on to wear home.
We lost JoJo’s fishing pole and Jon’s hat, and Jon’s cell phone doesn’t work anymore, but still, it was a lovely Mother’s Day.