Just Add Water

The plane landed in Boise (pronounced “Boy-See,” not “Boy-Zee” according to more than one T-shirt and waitress), delivering us to the jumping-off point for our summer vacation.

As we taxied along the jet way, my 8-year-old twins began peppering my wife with the same question, “Is there a pool at the hotel?”

The answer for this night was “No,” which set off an oh-so-public display of wailing and mashing of teeth that was really the perfect way to end a long day of cross-country travel.

Or not.

My wife, always quick on her feet, quickly distracted them with promises of pizza and the much-coveted weekly glass of Sprite. It worked. And, we wandered off to find our bags, mini-van and hotel.

Later, as we sat around the room watching the U.S. Women’s Soccer team play, munching on pizza and readying ourselves for bedtime, I couldn’t help but relive the jet way episode.

How simple and finite the pleasures of kids—they might as well come with an instruction manual that reads, “Just add water.”

For the next eight days, my wife and I made sure to do just that. Whether it was a pool at the end of the day, a trip to the beach in the afternoon or, surprisingly, a hot tub at the condo we rented – as long as we dipped the kids liberally in water each day, the whole family had a blast.

Along the way, I couldn’t help but marvel at how many of our advertising customers were providing the aquatic pleasure my kids craved. They jumped in spraygrounds and splash pads. They let their older brothers and sisters paddle them around Payette Lake on stand up paddleboards. They were pulled behind pontoon boats on rafts. They learned how to use the pool lift when my back was turned—not our best moment. They jumped off docks. And on and on.

My wife got sick of hearing me say, “That’s a customer of ours. That’s a customer of ours. That’s a customer of ours.”

It was really cool.

When we landed back in Cleveland (pronounced “Cleveland”), my bedrock belief that what all of you do for a living is so essential to our society’s health and happiness was re-affirmed. I rushed back to the office to get back to work and found this blank page waiting for me.

Awesome. Now, if I could just add water.

Till next month…

Rodney J. Auth