Later that night, my parents made an offer on the cabin, as did two other families. The next day when the cabin owners received the three offers from their realtor, they only had one question, and it had nothing to do with money.
“Are any of those offers from the boy who used to come up here?” the cabin owners asked.
“Yes,” the realtor responded. “That would be Mr. Heitger.”
“Well, we want to sell to that boy,” the woman said.
Yes, money bought the cabin. But clearly it was old cabin memories, and the promise of making new ones, that made the purchase possible.
Now, let’s remember that this is one teenage girl providing directions to another teenage girl. We don’t use “north, south, east, west” because that’s too confusing. Instead, we use specific landmarks as our sole navigating system. Kristen was doing her best, considering that there weren’t many distinguishing landmarks to note. She couldn’t exactly say, “Look for the third clump of birch trees, which are located behind the sixteenth set of pine trees, right past the log cabins.” That could be anywhere in northern Michigan.
We sat down in the hammock, folding the blanket around us, covering all exposed skin, so as to not offer ourselves up to the hungry mosquitoes. I lay cradled in Eric’s arms as we watched the shimmering sun sink lower in the vibrant Michigan sky. And then, just after the golden glow dipped below the horizon, Eric asked me to be his wife. The moment was magical—except that we were wrapped tighter than a burrito, making it difficult for Eric to retrieve the ring box, which was tucked deep in his pants pocket. So after accepting his proposal with a squeal and a kiss, I did what any eager girlfriend would do. I asked, “Do you need me to help you get something out of your pants?” (Those are words I will, no doubt, never live down.)
I’d read about its power. I’d seen movies describing its overwhelming hold. I’d known people who had endured it. But I’d never actually experienced the gripping nature of addiction until I witnessed it first-hand in my toddler. He’s addicted—to boating.
At first, Trevyn was satisfied with a daily boat ride. But then he began demanding multiple trips a day. He solicited rides from anyone he came in contact with: Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, Grandpa, the dude who came to repair our hoist. But I figured an intervention was in order when I caught him on my i-Phone, asking Siri to take him boating.