Over the Fourth of July, I was talking with some cousins about their vacation plans for the summer. They mentioned that their kids wanted to do three things on their upcoming vacation.
1. Rent a RV
2. Go horseback riding
3. See their cousin's in Boise.
So after some conversation and emailing to figure out the best time to drop by our place for a visit, the dates were set. They were coming to Boise to visit! During our conversation, rafting was brought up and it was decided that we would go rafting on Main Payette.
Here in was a personal dilema, do I take my 7 year old son rafting with the cousins or do I break it to him gently that he would be staying home? There were two reasons for this debate. The first reason was because of a parental concern for his safety and the potential that Class III whitewater holds. And reason two was I wanted to ensure he had a great time on his first whitewater trip so there would be more father-son rafting trips in our future.
After much thought and discussion, my wife and I decided that he should go rafting with the cousins. We decided it would be just the right timing so he could play with and talk to his cousins on the calmer stretches in between the brief and thrilling rapids.
The cousins finally arrived in Boise late Saturday night. Sunday morning was spent organizing the gear and loading the cars and making our way to the mightly Main. The weather was in the mid 80's and sunny. I couldn't have asked for better weather. The kids (and adults) had a great day on the water and much to my relief, no one went swimming unintentionally. (One cousin jumped in to see how cold the water was though.) The kids even tried to instigate several water fights with other boats.
Shortly after we reached the take out, I asked my son if he had a good time rafting . 'No' was his retort. So not wanting to leave it at that, I asked him again moments later if he enjoyed his rafting trip. 'YEAH!' was his response that time.
I can now admit that I was overly concerned about the trip, but I'm coming to understand that happens when you are responsible for other peoples safety.
Enjoy the water and the good times with family. (Even if your child(ren) aren't sure they like whitewater rafting.)
P.S. If you have stories about taking your kids rafting for the first time, I would be interested to hear them.