AGE 10 – Easter
Easter is always on Uncle Billy’s boat in San Diego. His boat isn’t that big, but somehow we all make it work. Today, with the weather being so nice, I was told we were sailing somewhere deep into the ocean. I love water! And when I make this statement, I mean what I say. I LOVE WATER‼! I can surf – much better than my brother, of course. I swim well enough to be on a swim team, and I love to jump off the high, high diving boards. I haven’t learned to water ski yet, but I figure that’s coming up soon – like maybe this summer in Hawaii.
“When did you get that dress, and with what money?” Mom was commenting on my Easter outfit. After that cotton candy dress fiasco, I asked Mom to get me a non-poofy dress. Her answer to my plea – a Lilly Pulitzer dress that would be great…if I were FIVE years old. I’m TEN now and can NOT wear a dress that makes me look like a baby. Plus, Jake is coming to Easter brunch with Kelley, and where they are, Donovan isn’t far behind.
“I bought it.” My proud announcement didn’t sit well with Mom. If Valentine’s Day taught me anything, I learned I didn’t want to look like a baby, I didn’t want anymore pastels (sorry, RL and Lilly Pulitzer), and I didn’t want to look like everyone else. I wanted to POP, and my orange dress POPPED! “Isn’t it pretty?”
“It’s beautiful, Baby.” Daddy finally came out to the car, ready to leave. “Did your mother buy it for you?”
“No, I didn’t. She must have taken my credit card and made another online purchase. Young lady,” uh-oh…here came the scolding. “You are not to use my card…”
“Let her be, Babs. It’s Easter, she looks gorgeous – in fact, that dress is much sweeter than the one you picked out for her. Maybe you should let her buy her own clothes from now on? Then we won’t have this issue.”
“Thank you, Daddy.” I kissed him on the cheek and jumped in the car before Mom could continue her lecture.
Our ride to San Diego was boring, and as expected, Uncle Billy took the boat out to sea. Right before we left, Jake, Kelley and Donovan hopped aboard, and I knew today was going to be fantastic! But the water was choppier than usual, so I stood, holding the railing, hoping to ease my rioting stomach.
“Hey there little girl. Whatcha doing here by yourself?”
“I’m feeling a little queasy so I thought I’d come here and calm my stomach.”
“Laney,” Doug yelled. “You want to jump in the ocean with us?”
Between feeling like I was going to throw-up and not wanting to take off my POP-orange dress, I didn’t want to go in, but everyone was doing it and I didn’t want to look like a chicken. I thought I should follow along.
“You going to jump in with all of us?” I hoped Donovan would join us, but I doubted it since he was wearing the most handsome suit, evahhh!
“You’re not scared to jump in? You need me to hold your hand, again?” Donovan was teasing me and I liked it. I probably had on my dorky smile but all was good because Donovan was with me and not Jane.
“I’m happy to hold your hand, Donovan, if you’re too scared to jump in,” I teased back. Before he could get a word in, I grabbed his hand and pulled us both into the water.
“I can’t believe you did that,” he said while rubbing the water out of his face. “I’m fully clothed,” he complained and started splashing water on my face, then swam over to dunk me in the ocean. We were both fully clothed. My bright orange dress floated in the water with me, but since I had a bathing suit underneath, it was a-okay.
“Race you back to the boat,” I hollered getting away from Donovan. He swam after me, grabbed my right foot and pulled me under. He swam ahead, laughing away until I caught his jacket that trailed behind him. Hanging on, I let him pull me as he struggled back towards the boat. When he slowed, I took my chance and jumped on his back. He swam with me on his back over to the boat, up the ladder, and onto the deck. I couldn’t let go because I didn’t want to let go. That was so much fun!
“Alright, little girl, let’s get you dried up.” Leaning back gently, he made sure my feet were on the deck and he placed the large towel around my body. I knew for sure, right then and there that I loved Donovan Taylor!