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Sunset Sailin'

On our trip to Beaufort this past fall, Riley fell in love with boats.

Any boat.

She wasn't picky.

Big boats, little boats, sail boats, center console boats, wakeboard boats, any boat. She loved to watch them float by on the water. She adored going to marinas to look at the boats until she realized she couldn't actually get on any of the boats. We made all kinds of promises about getting her out on Papa's boat even though it was late fall and the boat was already out of the water for the season.

We took her to Bohicket Marina to see the boats. Mistake. She kept saying "On? On? Riley on boat?" and would cry when she couldn't get on a boat.

She and I drove past a boat dealership in town during Christmas. It was dark enough that they had their Christmas lights on (which absolutely delighted Riley) but light enough that she could see boats. She went nuts in the backseat: "Oh oh Christmas lights! Boat! Lights! BOAT!"

We would even draw a sailboat on a page in Riley's coloring book and she would sit on it so we could pull her around the living room and she could pretend she was on a boat.

Back in December, friends of mine mentioned that they had their sailboat in the water at their house about 40 minutes away from ours. I immediately invited Riley and myself over so that Riley could see the boat and maybe, just maybe, get on the boat. Just after Christmas, we made our way out to their house and they surprised us with an hour-long sailboat ride around Lake Murray at sunset! Y'all. Riley was in heaven. Me? At 37 weeks pregnant, I was hoping not to go into labor out on a sailboat in the middle of the lake since its top speed was 5mph.

We loaded up with their three boys and headed out on the water. Riley was uncharacteristically quiet as she soaked it all in. She sat so still in her life jacket and looked around everywhere for the first half of the ride. She even got to help sail! Once we turned around and headed back, she was finally warmed up and was ready to explore the boat. She checked out the cabin area, felt fearless enough to lean over the edge of the boat to look out across the water, and kept throwing her head back to see the cat design that was at the very top of the sail.

It's been a few weeks since the sailboat trip, but anytime I mention either friend's name, Riley perks up. "Sailboat? Sailboat?"

It was the perfect afternoon out on the water thanks to our friends and a great way to have a fun time with my best girl before her little sister arrived.

1 comment

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