Today, we joined Reese and his parents, along with some other friends, at Jackson Lake for a day of watersports and fun. Today’s high at the lake was a sizzling 102 degrees. Usually we would be holed up in the house on a hot afternoon like that, but today we were out in it. Fortunately, Claire handled the weather just fine. She pinked up pretty good in the heat, but we had a thick glaze of SPF 50 sunscreen on her all day, and she did not get burned.
The lake house was crawling with little kids and babies. It was pretty much a who’s-who of Claire’s kid friends. Reese was there with his new little brother Davis. Baby Luke, who is the four-month-old son of the other chief resident Chrissie, was also in attendance. Claire loves these babies. The last few weeks she has been whispering, “Shh… Baby Luke, sleeping. Shh… Baby Davis.” Claire also met Melanie’s friend’s daughter Jaia (Jaya?), a lively, two-and-a-half-year-old girl with curly dark hair. Claire had actually met Jaia a few months ago when Melanie had arranged for Grace to watch her for a few days along with Reese and Claire. Apparently Grace had her hands full during those days, but Claire sure had fun with Jaia today. Well into the night, she was saying “Jaia” over and over.
We all soaked in the warm bath-like waters of the lake, the kids in full safety gear. This was Claire’s first dip in a lake, and she seemed to enjoy it. She must have spent over an hour in the water, including about 15 minutes under Chrissie’s watch as Kit and I took the Waverunner out for a spin. That thing was crazy fast, and Kit and I felt like we were both going to get blown off the back. Fortunately, we were able to hold on and make it back to the lake house and the kid. Besides our 15 minutes of adventure, we spent most of our day watching Claire and various babies. Claire was too wired up for her nap, so I drove her around the countryside and eventually got her to sleep a little. It had been a very long time since I had to use the old car trick to get Claire to sleep. Her little nap was enough to get her through a couple more hours of playing and exploring with all the other kids.
Everyone except Reese’s grandma “Beebee” and the kids spending the night were going to ride the pontoon boat across the lake to the infamously slow Kountry Kitchen. Kit and I decided to go along and bring Claire, even though it would put her way past her usual 7:30 bedtime. Despite previous “difficult” experiences when missing bedtime by even a little bit, we decided to take a chance and join everyone for dinner.
Dinner was fun, and hot, and slow…and very late. We got to the restaurant around 8:00, and the waitress warned us before we ordered that it would take at least 45 minutes to get our food. After we ordered, Kit and I took turns sitting on the docked boat outside the restaurant in the hot night air reading Claire Curious George and the Rocket and trying to get her to sleep. Even a dark lakeside walk carrying Claire did not do the trick. Claire was charged up and ready to explore the lake or the restaurant. Eventually I brought her into the restaurant because I was about to die of hunger and thirst. We all had a fun dinner and were riding the boat across the lake around 10:30, listening to Hootie and the Blowfish’s greatest hits, when Claire finally fell asleep under the stars. She stayed asleep for the transfer out of the boat, up the driveway, into the car, on the hour-long ride home, through a change of clothes, and into her crib. She probably had one of her nights of sleep ever that night, dreaming of Jaia and Reese and lights reflecting on the warm lake water.