Since last weekend, Henry and I had planned to go kayaking today. So, after lunch, I loaded the big yellow tandem kayak on our big red truck, and we took windy Chuckanut Drive down to Larrabee State Park, where we dragged our craft through a hundred yards of low tide mud into the Salish Sea. Henry kept saying that he intended to nap while I paddled. Even if he wanted to, it would have been impossible, given how rough the water was. Waves crashed over the bow of the kayak as we hugged the shoreline, where the seals sat and watched us struggle.
By the time we decided to beach it, we were both soaked and sitting in 3 inches of water. We read our books for an hour on the rocky beach to dry off under the hot sun. Neither of us said a word for an hour, until Henry finally put his book down and said, “let’s paddle back, Dad.”
The salty sea air gave us the idea to have a seafood dinner, so after we wrestled the kayak back on top of the truck, we continued south on Chuckanut Drive to Taylor Shellfish Farm, where we loaded up on Dungeness crab, mussels and oysters.
Taylor is right on the water. You have to cross the railroad tracks on foot to get there. As we walked along those tracks, I told Henry, who is twelve, how it reminded me of the movie Stand by Me. He immediately said he wanted to watch it with me.
After our seafood feast with Kristine and Ruby, Henry and I snuck off to watch Stand by Me. He usually falls asleep in the first 20 minutes of any movie we watch together, but he watched the whole thing. He loved it, but said he couldn’t believe that 12-year-olds would smoke cigarettes. I decided not to tell him about all the things I did as a twelve-year-old that he also wouldn’t believe.
After a full day with Henry, the last lines of the movie brought me to tears. “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, does anyone?”