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Best Boat Ride EVER

18 Comments 25 July 2010

I grew-up going to the lake.  I was a Mississippi girl that learned to water ski when I was just a little kid and we spent our weekends driving to this or that lake and riding in or behind some one’s boat.  I went canoeing, rafting, riding in a fishing boat, a ski boat, on a pontoon boat…if it was in the water, I was sure to be on it.  But I have never had a boat ride that thrilled me like the one I had yesterday.  My baby girl rode on my in-laws ski boat for the first time in her life.

MH is ten and half years old and one of her many phobias is anything that moves.  Where most kids can’t wait to get on a pony at a birthday party, ride a carousel at the zoo, jump on a paddle boat at the park, or have the wind fly through their hair on a boat…our MH has been terrified of all of the above her entire life.  Early on I tried the whole, let’s just see if we can “push through” it mentality and the horror and panic that spread across my baby’s face let me know that I would never do that again.  She simply was terrified.  Just the mention of the boat was enough to get her repeating over and over, “no boat!”

So how did this miraculous event occur…modern medicine.  My baby takes lots of medicine and it helps with some of her issues, her impulsivity is toned down, her aggression is reigned in, her inability to sleep is, for the most part, overcome…but we had yet to conquer the anxiety, the fear, the terror surrounding so many, many things in her little life.  Until now.  It is only a tiny little orange pill and it may not work forever, but today, I think it is a miracle.  A beautiful, funny, exciting and crazy miracle that my MH can do what other kids can do…she can ride in the boat.  It may sound silly to some people, but this mother thought it was the best boat ride ever!

We have spent countless sunny days at the lake house and someone always had to stay back with MH.  That someone was usually me.  Everyone would hop on the boat and ride off into the sunset to tube, ski and frolic and MH and I would stay on the dock and wait.  Don’t get me wrong, I love MH and it wasn’t so bad, but it always made me so sad that she missed out on all of the fun with all of the other kids.  There are so many things in our lives that she just doesn’t get to be a part of and it makes me sad.  Getting on the boat was always one of those things.

That is, at least for now, a thing of the past.  She asked to get on the boat, started out in my lap (mind you it was 100 bazillion degrees!), then moved to sit beside me and then was driving the boat with my husband.  The progress didn’t stop there as she let us increase the speed and by today, she was riding along as my husband pulled the other kids on the tube!  It truly is nothing short of a miracle.  It was amazing and so much fun to be a part of…to watch her giggle and grin!  Yes, every time there were waves she would momentarily panic, then soothe herself with the words “up, down, up, down” as she nodded her head.  And riding under the bridge or going certain ways was, for whatever reason, forbidden, but who the hell cares!  She rode in the boat!  Of course now, she is asking, like every three minutes (not an exaggeration) if she can go back to the lake and ride the boat.  From one struggle to the next…

I keep telling her how proud I am and how tickled I am that she loves riding in the boat now.  She just grins and says, “I go boat riding, just one more time?”

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18 Comments so far

  1. Kristy says:

    This made me teary-eyed. Way to go, MH!

  2. Carolyn Bradford says:

    Thanks for sharing this!!! It was a true blessing to me just to read it and I appreciate your honesty!! I’ve loved reading your other posts as well!!!!

  3. April says:

    I love it! What a big girl! Way to go MH!

  4. Gigi :) says:


  5. Cynthia Williams Insko says:

    How inspiring! I know it was a gift for you to enjoy it all with MH. I am just finishing rereading When the Heart Waits. Thanks for reminding me of it in your past blogs. It has been just the spiritual direction I have needed in this waiting time of midlife I find myself in. Wish I could discuss the book in person w/ you. Mmmm…maybe a good retreat idea.

    • Jorja says:

      cynthia, sounds great, lori and i talked about something like that as well…don’t you guys live close to one another?

  6. Michele says:

    Awesome Story! That made my day! Way to go MH!!

  7. keri says:

    i am so happy with you on this big accomplishment for MH!! (and i’m sure she is quite proud of herself as well!). and yay for modern medicine that works miracles 🙂

    • Jorja says:

      kc, what would i do without drugs? pretty sure no one around me wants to truly know the answer to that one? heh?

  8. Judy Helfand says:

    I love this story. I love learning about MH and her miracles. July 25th will be forever more in your life. May you have many more.

    The photo of MH looking at your husband with such love and admiration tells the whole story.

    Wonderful summer days.

  9. amy says:

    this makes me smile!

  10. Clare Cheney Sedlacek says:


    For all of those people who have never experienced living with someone like MH, your simple, honest explanation regarding small victories like riding in a boat with the rest of the family ought to wake us up!!

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Jorja says:

      clare! oh my goodness…so happy to have you stop by lady! hope you and jim are well. thanks for your sweet words! love, love, love

  11. What a wonderful part of your life to share with MH. I, too, grew up behind a boat & nothing could make smile more than a spin around the lake.
    Sounds like MH has joined this group.
    Kudos to you for not giving up.
    you must be getting reading to go to NYC- i am so jealous- but so glad you are going

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things to make you wonder~

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...” Annie Dillard

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