A better day…
I went swimming in a freezing river by the beautiful Dales village of Burnsall yesterday.
Charlie came in with me, Max sat on the side because he’s a wuss and also because he wanted to hide his brothers clothes.
It’s ok, once you’re in…
We swam to the other side of the riverbank where a rope swing had been tied to a branch overlooking the water. I tried to show Charlie my prowess on a rope swing but I’d failed to remember that I don’t have any prowess on a rope swing so I looked like a douche (Charlie’s word).
Next we let ourselves drift downriver a little. For a while, the fog lifted for me and Charlie forgot he was a teenager. He asked me questions about all sorts of nonsense and I made up all my answers. Just like it used to be.
When he got tired, I helped him to the side and left him to go beat his brother up for throwing one of his shoes up a tree.
I lay back in the water and made the shape of a cross with my arms and legs while I looked up at the sky. I didn’t think about anything, I just watched the clouds float one way as I floated the other.
As I swam back to the riverbank I could see my Dad. He used to bring us here as kids. We’d swim and jump off the rocks. I think we had a dinghy once. Hope he liked watching his grandchildren having fun.
After our swim we walked back to the Red Lion where we shared diet cokes and packets of posh crisps. The chorizo ones were my favourites but Charlie liked the sweet chilli. Max claimed he doesn’t like crisps which is nonsense but I let it pass. Another me, on a different day, would have told him that not liking crisps is as ridiculous as not liking breathing but yesterday wasn’t that day, or that me.
There was a wedding just finishing. We watched as the bride and groom made their way out of the small church where their friends and family were waiting to lob confetti at them. Charlie articulated what I was thinking, but hadn’t said; “She’s not the best is she Dad?”. Obviously I explained to him that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that personality is more important than looks but I could see my words were falling on deaf ears.
Then we went home.
I think there were some lessons in yesterday for me but let’s not overthink it. It was just a better day.