He should have known better…that’s all I can say. He’s my father and he’s known me for all of my 43 years, so I can’t take any pity on him and I won’t accept any of the blame. He knew that it was my first time operating a boat; albeit a small 14 ft john boat, but it might as well been a Carnival Cruise line…or the Titanic. Yeah, that’s more appropriate. He also knew that his swiveled seat was not bolted down and more than anything, his 43 years of knowing me has taught him that I am brain damaged when it comes to anything with a motor or can be found in a tool box. So what can I say? I had just pushed us off the shore and jumped in the boat. I attempted to put the motor in gear…oops, we’re going backwards. Wrong way. I apparently didn’t remember what Tim, my friend who sold me the boat, told me about the forward and reverse thingie on the outboard motor. Something I should do, but I failed to do, when I transitioned between the two because when I pushed the little lever to the forward position, the boat catapulted forward like the Apollo space shuttle. Now remember my father’s swiveled seat that’s not bolted down. It flew backwards with him in it and the top part of the chair landed on the middle seating platform. My father was suspended in air on his back with his arms and legs flailing like a beached crab not able to make contact with anything for leverage to help himself up. My first response should have been one of concern. It wasn’t. I laughed. Then I swallowed the second laugh and quickly checked on my Dad. He was okay. I pushed him back to upright and we avoided tragedy the rest of the day. He hasn’t been back out on the boat with me ever since.
This day causes me to reflect on a mystifying truth. Despite my mechanical shortcomings and the inherent risks involved, my father was willing to play Russian roulette with his life in order to spend time with me. In the same way, our Father in Heaven knows all too well our speckles and blemishes, yet He has a strong desire to spend time with us. Isn’t that amazing?