The Captain Had It
It’s very crowded in Ocean City, NJ. One must drive slowly and kindly in this bustling resort town. We stayed in a motel about three blocks from the ocean so the boardwalk was within easy walking distance.
John opted to stay home with Zoe. Not a big beach fan, his only request was that I bring home a half baked pizza from the famous Manco and Manco shop. One of the things I appreciate about John is his low maintenance attitude.
As the young man with the charming European accent set up our beach umbrella I observed people parasailing in the distance. “Hey, Kelsi, would you like to try that?” I asked. “No, I don’t think so, Mom. Why, do you want to?” “Yes, actually I would, but you don’t have to,” I reassured her. The seed was planted and I let it rest.
The next day more of a longing erupted within me. I’m going to do it, one way or the other, this trip or the next one, I silently determined. When we got back to our hotel after a great day in the sun Kelsi suddenly said she would try it. I made the reservation for Saturday.
There were 11 of us on the boat. A family of four, a group of three and two women from Europe smiled with anticipation. The boat captain blared music from the 60’s and 70’s and soared through the waves. His young assistant dispassionately hooked up the first group, the trio, and they sailed into the sky. Kelsi was happy up until this point. Fear began to surround her.
“Mom, I can’t do it! I’m too afraid!” This continued and escalated through the next 20 minutes as the two women went next. I turned to the boat captain. “Can I go up alone? She is refusing to try it,” I said. He immediately reassured her. “Honey, you’ll be fine, you’re going to love it. See those yellow ribbons on the line? I won’t put you up any higher than that unless you give me the thumbs up.” He spoke kindly and with full assurance to her. Kelsi looked at the low height of those ribbons and said “ok, no higher,” but her nervous system was on overload. “No, don’t touch me!” she yelled. I put my hands down.
As soon as her fear started I felt enveloped in a supernatural calm. I knew it was God’s presence, and that she would love it once she got into the air. The captain wisely put us third in line so her anticipatory anxiety would not continue to build. Before she could protest further we were strapped in and he hoisted us up. “Ahhh!” she yelled at the first yank, then silence as we went higher. She began to smile and I gave the captain the sign. We went to the highest point and there was heavy silence and bliss. That peace intensified.
Kelsi’s eyes got huge. “Mom, I feel like I’m flying,” she respectfully whispered. We saw schools of fish scurrying under the waves. That 12 minutes was like riding on a glory cloud. We came down amidst cheers of our fellow passengers.
The captain smiled at me. “Did YOU enjoy it?” he asked. “Absolutely!” I said “I can usually talk everyone into it, ” he grinned. Those yellow ribbons were part of his plan. I loved his wisdom and the fact that he saw me too.
Adventures, as Kelsi once said, include the good and the bad parts. Press in to your next one. I am so glad we both did.