I can be a cool mom

Once in a great while, I'm a cool mom. Usually, I'm kind of a boring and lazy mom. I also am not a big fan of bowling, Disneyland or the Family Fun Center, so Silas believes that I have failed to thrive as a parent. But like I said, once in a while, I actually can impress my child and show him a good time.

The other weekend I was trying to convince Silas that for our big weekend plans I would take him swimming at the YMCA. That sounded OK to him, but he kept asking what else we would be doing, and I was stuck for an answer.

As if in answer to my mental block, I got a text message that there was room in a rafting trip leaving the next morning and would I like to come? I love rafting, but I thought I would take Silas later this summer after he turned 8, and after the temperatures had risen a bit more — rafting this early in the year?

I anxiously said yes. Silas and I would love to come.

The next morning, Silas and I went down to Indigo Creek Rafting Co., which opened last year. I had seen their website before, but had never gone rafting with them because their website says that children have to be 8 years old and older to go.

It turns out, upon further investigation that children simply have to be more than 50 pounds — a weight limit which Silas barely broke, but, according to some morning talk shows I've seen, would accommodate some pork-rind-eating toddlers.

Indigo Creek's website advised Silas and I to "dress for cold water." Not being the owner of my own personal wetsuit, I had no idea what that advice meant.

I called and was told to wear some toe-covering shoes, stay away from cotton, and that they would take care of the rest. Indigo Creek provided splash jackets and wetsuits free of charge for their rafters.

The other couple on the trip with us, two retirees from Seattle, opted for wetsuits, while Silas and I just wore the splash jackets. I was a little chilly, but since Indigo Creek takes a photographer along for all their trips, I was too worried about what my rear end would look like in a wet suit to brave one.

Silas didn't worry about being cold or wet, and after the first rapid the guide teased him asking "did you get wet?" We were all soaked, but Silas proudly stated that although wet, he was "having so much fun I didn't even frown!"

Another thing which had delayed my rafting adventures was worrying about Silas, and whether a bunch of young, nonparent-type river guides would be able to allay his anxieties (my son tends to be a bit of a worrier, and in fact asked me three times on the ride out to the Rogue River about freshwater sharks).

The guides on our boat, Will and Taylor, actually were better at keeping Silas happy and distracted through the larger rapids than I was. Will and Taylor pointed out the wildlife, taught Silas about bird eyelids, and fed him Rice Krispies treats and juice while on the snack break. I may not always be a cool mom, but sometimes I figure out how to find cool people for my son to meet.

My favorite part of the trip came at the very beginning, as Will was teaching me and Silas and how to paddle the boat.

"Silas, do you know your right from left?" asked Will. Silas did, and probably actually has a better sense of direction than I do (right just feels like it should be left to me). "OK, Silas, what side of the boat are you on?" Silas very promptly responded "the front!" and of course he was right.

Silas keeps telling me that our rafting trip was "the best day ever," and actually was even better than Disneyland. Silas wants to go again for his birthday, and I think this occasionally cool mom can swing that.

Zoe and Silas still are drying their shoes on the porch. You can contact her at DailyZoe@gmail.com.

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