17 May 2008

The Sun's Big Lie


It was unusually warm today, and the family was begging to go sailing. (Like, do they really think they need to beg??) I advised the kids that it was probably too cold to swim, but undaunted, they all put on swimsuits and climbed aboard.

A beautiful afternoon, with light winds, a warm sun, and clear skies. Certainly the lake, fed by melted snowpack, would somehow alter temperatures to match the weather that day.

The mountain tops were still covered with snow, and I am sure there were hearty souls getting in a last run on the slopes that very afternoon. Not these hearty souls, we were headed into the balmy, tropical 55 degree waters of Utah Lake for a refreshing sail and swim.

My #4 and #5 kids suddenly became self conscious at how fair their winter skin was, and decided they needed to get tans. (These boys are 6 and 8 years old...) So they took over one of the cockpit benches, and raised their arms and legs in an attempt to capture as much sunlight as absolutely possible.

Well, the sun DID feel warm, and as the afternoon progressed, there were even a few moments when it felt hot. The older kids were already daring each other to jump over the side, and the banter continued back and forth until one of them swung a leg over the side and into the shockingly snow-like water. It was a wonder we hadn't hit an iceberg. But the sun continued to lie to them, and soon they had stripped to swimsuits and lifejackets, unable to resist the temptation.

Finally, reason gave way to summer fever, and over the side one of them went. Screaming like a madman. From the warmth of the deck, I could almost see his muscles contract and cramp up as his body plunged from the 85 degree air into the 50 degree water. He resurfaced instantly, and it was clear from his gasping that the muscles around his lungs had contracted similarly. But he was laughing, "It's liquid snow!" I was quite sure his would be the last splash we heard that afternoon, but I was wrong. Maybe my kids are not so smart after all.

The others soon jumped in, and returned to the deck time and time again, laughing on the deck, screaming as they jumped, and gasping or almost crying as they came out of the water.

Even the 3 younger kids decided to get in the water. They lasted a combined total of 4 minutes in there, and climbed back up the ladder shivering, blue-lipped, nigh hypothermic, and all smiles.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Skipper! I laughed so hard I cried when I saw the picture of your young sons trying to get tans. They look like they're worshiping RA the sun god. - T2

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