Have you ever been 150 feet away from an eagle as it dives down and pulls its prey from Puget Sound? Have you ever sat in your husband’s tiny boat and clapped because you were there for the wildlife show? After years of hearing about fishing and firmly saying no every time my husband asked me to join him, I finally said yes two weeks ago.
Why did I say no? Oh, I’m not a fan of small boats. Oh, I like my sleep. Oh, I had girls to care and tend for as they slowly woke on those Saturday mornings.
Why did I finally say yes? Oh, Chris is so happy on his small boat and I wanted to bear witness to that. Oh, the older I get the earlier I go to bed and the earlier I rise. It’s not such a big deal to get up at 5:25 am these days. Oh, my girls are 13 and 10 and they don’t need me on those lazy weekend mornings anymore.
Seeing Chris at his happiest made me happy. Catching a fish and seeing pleasure light up on his face as he placed the net under my salmon gave us shared joy. After hearing about whales and porpoises and eagles decorating his morning view, I couldn’t help but clap as the eagle’s wingspan made me sigh with so much jubilation.
It’s not lost on me that Chris and I have more time together as the girls get older. It’s not lost on me that as this makes me both inordinately sad and glad at the same time. We watched our teen swim at Green Lake with a friend a few weeks ago and Chris asked me what was wrong and I burst into tears, “I’m just so sad that KK is growing up.”
“News alert,” he said, “She already has grown up.”
I was so thankful for the truth ringing from his mouth even though I know she has a ways to go. It’s been a summer of watching KK’s back side walking away from me, off to her own adventures. She doesn’t turn around as my eyes bore a hole in her body.
I don’t cry as she walks away again and again and again. Instead I find myself waiting for eagles to dive down and take my mind off my girl. When I took the girls camping last week, I sat at the edge of the Snoqualmie River and watched for my favorite bird of prey to come into view. It’s not a silly wish because I’ve seen many eagles here before. I want the blessing of this creature to mark these days of change for me.
But I waited in vain. No eagle showed up so I held tight to the memory of the eagle that pulled a fish from the water in front of me as I sat next to Chris in his little boat. When Chris joined us for a day on the river, I watched him dive into the water as I sat on the beach. He dives in so fast, exactly like his teen daughter and it thrills me every time.
I keep my eyes on this steady man as my daughter’s backside becomes a familiar sight. He dives into each phase of our lives with excitement. Look at that, he says, our daughter is growing up. The night I cried at Green Lake about this teenage dream of ours he reminded me of what a good job I’ve done. There’s something so golden about this man that takes our daughter’s new flight pattern in stride. I reach back and he pushes forward. Come fishing with me he says, and I say yes.