Advantage Lost

I knew it would happen eventually, but I thought I would have more time.

Whatever small advantage I had kayaking with my son has now been lost.

It’s been over a year since Son #2 and I started our weekly excursions together. It started in response to the long weeks, then months, of Covid19 lockdown.

At first we were just hiking – a desire to escape the city and enjoy some fresh air, exercise, and the peace that comes from quiet time in nature.

Rockwood Conservation Area

In the spring, with a need for a change of pace, we added cycling to our adventures.

Caledon Rail Trail
Thornton-Cooksville Rail Trail – the sign said the trail was closed.
Did we ignore it? Yes, we did. Curiosity required that we find out why.

Finally, when the warm weather returned again, I introduced him to paddling.

Misha is half my age. He has the advantage of youth, combined with male strength. While our hikes and bike rides were major workouts for me, they were more of a ‘meditative’ exercise for him.

Niagara Glen – if he found something to climb, Misha climbed it … just because.

However, when we hit the water, and the advantage changed.

I had experience, combined with a much better boat for speed and maneuvrability. Now it was my turn to wait for him to catch up. It was Misha who was worn and tired at the end of the day.

Beavermead Park, Peterborough – Getting ready to go.
The heavy fog we drove in was slowly starting to burn off in this early morning hour.

… but I had underestimated his determination to master the skill.

Cherry Beach, Toronto

While I was blissfully enjoying my relatively easy time on the water, Misha was diligently working on his paddling technique, and learning how to navigate his little tub of a boat. His persistence and inherent strength finally provided the breakthrough.

On our last paddle together, I simply couldn’t keep up. Repeatedly, he had to stop and wait for me, and by the end of the day, I had nothing left to give. While he drove us back to Toronto, I fought to stay awake in the car.

Belwood Lake Conservation Area

While my advantage has now been lost, I recognize that what I’ve gained is – quite simply – immeasurable.

37 comments

  1. I followed my son and daughter-in-law down a MTN bike trail this summer as I feel like we’ve been too disconnected. We’ve also gone snow shoeing and walking but nothing regularly. He’s away a lot with his work and time at home is just not long enough to do it all so it’s precious what I get. What you’ve had has definitely been a Covid benefit and how amazing the activities you’ve done. Bernie

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    • Isn’t it wonderful that we can do these things with our adult children! I certainly didn’t have it with either of my parents, and yes, that time together is priceless ❤️

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  2. These are such wonderful photos of you and your son, Joanne. And the memories, priceless! I often love the idea of foggy mornings, since I usually end up with a wonderful surprise when the fog lifts (if it is safe to drive). Many tranquil areas and great captures of the reflections. I love your ending and your word “immeasurable.” The time I have recently spent with my family is more precious than ever. For many reasons. You brought tears to my eyes…poignant and happy.❤️

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  3. Ahh you are so good at keeping things mysterious and your titles catchy. It happened and you know it would, he is your son! 😉 I’m so glad you’re having these priceless active together times. My parents are beyond that.

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    • It’s inevitable that eventually I too will no longer be able or willing to go on these excursions. So far the old body is holding up admirably. As you said, these are priceless times together. I’m so lucky!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a gift to have had this precious time with Misha. You may have lost the advantage, but the fact that you are able to enjoy & participate in all of these physical activities together, tips the scales in your favour my friend. Love this post so much!💕

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    • No question I’m a winner in all of this! We have all done what we needed to do in order to survive this pandemic. It’s only in hindsight that I realize exactly how many gifts I’ve been given ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely story Joanne. 2 years ago I kayaked with my then 26 yr old son down a city river. It was great fun, but a little hard to organise. With that and covid we haven’t been able to repeat the adventure. Hopefully this Summer we can. Both of our craft are not built for speed, his less so. When purchasing mine I insisted on an opening large enough so I could access my right foot which gets cramps. Also lower back issues, no I won’t go there. Thanks for the blog post and go out with your son as many times as you can😊

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    • I hope you and your son do create more opportunities to get out and enjoy nature together. It’s worth the time and effort. Covid was the impetus that got us going, but it also provided some challenges … especially during the 7 month lockdown we experienced.

      I find getting into my kayak isn’t too bad, but getting out is humbling at the best of times. I’ve discovered that it is virtually guaranteed to be even more humiliating than usual if there are people around to witness it 😏

      Liked by 1 person

        • You have my sympathy, Mick. These lockdowns are tough for everyone, but all the small business owners and people working in the entertainment industry, personal services, and tourism get particular sympathy from me.

          Although we are now in a 4th wave, I have my fingers crossed that another lockdown isn’t in our future.

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  6. Hi Joanne. You were definitely missed at our get-together yesterday but loved hearing how you have been spending your time AND staying deeply connected with your son. The fact that you want to be with him and he wants to be with you despite differences in strength and endurance says it all. Loved seeing the photos of Misha and your location. May you continue to meet and spend time together as the days unfold. ~Kathy

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    • Thank you so much, Kathy. All of you were on my mind yesterday. I was definitely feeling I was missing out 😕 But it sounds like you all had a good time 🙂

      You are bang on when you say that the truly important part is that we want to spend time together. At first I was concerned that Misha would get bored with my pokey speed, but he doesn’t seem to care and as a result, we’re both winners in this ❤️

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  7. Well said, my friend! You may have lost the physical advantage but what you gained in time spent with a loved one is priceless. Gorgeous photos. I especially love the one with Misha and the Toronto skyline in the background. Nice juxtaposition of nature and the city.

    Deb

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    • I never seem to get tired of taking photos from the water of the Toronto skyline 🙂

      “Priceless” is exactly the right word. I appreciate that this is a great privilege I’m enjoying right now ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    • It is very nice to have a companion – especially someone like Misha who is so agreeable to be with. He is even tolerant when I go into Mother Mode (did you have sunscreen on? do you have enough water?) 😆

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah – there is no keeping up. We agreed a long time ago that we would move at our own pace, or else it wouldn’t be any fun. We just need to check back on each other regularly and carry whistles to signal if we need to.

      Liked by 1 person

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