We bought our used canoe about three years ago, and hadn't got much use out of it until we moved here. There's nothing better for bored boys on a Saturday afternoon than to suggest they get out the canoe.
A few things to note:
Our pond is not very big. Lengthwise it is only about three times the size of the canoe. So basically you can go around and around (kindof) or back and forth a few times and you're done. :)
My boys complained that they couldn't lift the canoe, but after that I replied, "If you can't carry it you aren't big enough to use it............." And, somehow they found a way to team up and carry that thing down to the pond and launch it in. (Without of course, thinking about how they'd get it back out!)
No, they don't exactly know how to row, so there was a lot of complaining. "No this way, don't sit over there we'll tip, etc etc."
The thought of one of them going in terrifies me. Drowning is one thing, mind you, but there is maybe four feet of quicksand-like MUD that we know is at the bottom!!
Still, there's nothing like water and light and shadows on a quiet pond. Ok, maybe it was quiet before the boys got onto it.
And why is it that all the pretty lakes and places in the world can't compete with having our very own little pond?
But by the end of the day, they had somehow, someway, figured out how to leverage all their energy into hoisting that canoe back up the bank and out.
Where before I had heard, "I'm too weak", now I was hearing three voices in unison, "1, 2, 3, heave!"
I love simple things. I love simple lessons. They happen.
Sometimes I 'forget' all the fighting and complaining and whining that takes place before that MOMENT comes. But that's all part of it, too.
But it came. That moment with sun and light and clear water and three boys finally figuring out how to work it out together.
It doesn't get much better than that for me.