Don’t Go Fast Daddy…


My family and I were trying to figure out how long we’ve been visiting our summer vacation spot just outside Ontario’s Algonquin Park. It’s usually Zoe that keeps the best records in this regard but, as it turns out, it was my own blogging history that proved to be just a little more reliable. Last evening, I gathered the family around the living room to read some of what I rediscovered when I went back to my archives. 

I realize that I’ve been absent from this space for several months–busy with the voicEd Radio initiative–so in an effort to re-engage with my blogging life here, I wanted to repost some of my early “Teaching Out Loud” entries and, in particular, the ones that captured the imagination of my sons, Luke and Liam. 

From July 2012–our first day at Oxtongue Lake!

When we pushed off from the shore this evening—our first evening at the Cloverleaf Cottages on Oxtongue Lake—Luke and Liam were both a little wary of what was about to unfold. They had never been in a canoe before, didn’t know why Zoe and I had wooden sticks in our hand, and demonstrated very little confidence that this whole evening adventure was going to work out the way that we had intended.

After many questions about what Zoe and I were doing with the paddles, why we were working on different sides of the boat, and why I seemed to be putting more effort into things than my wife, there was a sudden silence. I was at the front of the canoe, so my ears were my only guide to what was happening with the boys. We stopped paddling and let the boat drift.

“What is this place, Daddy?”, 3 year-old Liam asked.

“This is so cool,” was Luke’s initial response.

But the line of the day came from Luke as we began to make our way back to the shore. “Don’t go fast Daddy…I want to look at all the nature.”

So we stopped and looked.

5 responses to “Don’t Go Fast Daddy…”

  1. Sheila Stewart says:

    Aw… I relate to this in lots of ways! Can’t beat the moments in a drifting canoe!

  2. Sheena Martin says:

    Fabulous post. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. Michael Harding says:

    Stephen your experience sounds eerily like my own of this past week. My daughter and her family invited my wife and I to visit them at the cottage they had rented in Muskoka. I really am not a cottage guy but I would be if I could have this place to call home. It is north of Huntsville on a Lake I had never heard of called Brock Lake. When I got there I understood why. There are 10 cottages on the lake and none of them have motor boats. Strangely enough there were no other cottagers up there last week and we had the tiny lake to ourselves. The silence was deafening. The peace and tranquility was a kind I had never before experienced. We paddled around in the row boat that was provided and just “looked at all the nature.” Lots of reading, more than enough sleeping, and way too much eating. I think heaven must be something like this place (with maybe a golf course thrown in). Enjoy your vacation.

    • Thanks for the resonating comment Mike! The kids went to bed last night at about 10:00!! But they were up and out of the cottage this morning by 6:00. Luke saw his first “sunrise” this morning. (Folks that have listened to my rants over the past year or so will know why I have surrounded “sunrise” with emphasis!

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