Today my job was to take the kids away from the cabin for as long as I could stand it. Not a bad assignment. Especially when you have Lopez Island as your playground. Naturally we headed to Spencer Spit, which three of the Fry Family Quartet had recently ranked as their #1 favorite place on Earth. We had only the basics: 3 ham sandwiches, 3 bottles of water, 2 beers and a cowboy hat. None of the luxuries of a mom trip. No table cloth. No beach blanket. No ice. We made do and had an excellent time. The toy of choice was a drift wood 2×4, which played the role of pretend iPad, phone, garage door opener and TV remote control. After 3 hours on the spit, Henry and Ruby were exhausted. I had to use my best negotiation skills to decide who would get the piggy back ride up the hill to the car (Ruby – she’s the weakest. And the lightest).
Back in Mud Bay, I was able to convince Ruby it was time for a real kayak ride – one where we actually go more than 10 feet from shore. Henry, the kayak veteran, took the front. Ruby sat with me in the back. Extra sensitive to her concern for safety, I told her to hold on tight to both sides of the kayak as we got in. After 20 minutes, she asked, “Daddy, can I let go of the sides now?” She got pretty comfortable after that. Henry, who played the role of navigator, was full of encouragement for his little sister, which helped make it an excellent trip. Within Mud Bay, we came across four seals, ten purple starfish, and dozens of schools of fish. After an hour on the water, Ruby still didn’t want to return to the cabin. I have a feeling she’ll be back in that kayak tomorrow.