In Sherborn, right after the bridge where Farm Road crosses the Charles River, there is a ‘put in’ area on the left. Tuesday, Peter, Sam and I unloaded our canoe and kayak to paddle downriver to South Natick.

The last time we took the canoe and kayak together was over 10 years ago when Sam was a toddler. We brought along Sam’s then begrudging teenage brother, Dylan, to get him out of the house. He paddled the kayak.

Tuesday we brought along our now begrudging teenage son, Sam, to get him out of the house. He paddled the canoe with Dad.

When Sam was a toddler, Peter and I put him in a playpen in the middle of the canoe – probably not USCG Boat Safety approved – but it worked wonderfully.

While paddling along in the kayak Tuesday, I took nostalgic note. That once upon a time toddler, now begrudging full-bodied teen, sat in the bow, drafting nearly the same weight as Dad in the stern. His knees bent above the rail at the same height his toddler head once reached. And the once excited high pitched voice now rumbled out in a satiric baritone:

“No Dad. I am only here as a grunt working paddler, like you [jokingly] said earlier. I have no obligation to look for, or alert you to, any obstacles floating or otherwise.”

And my inner ear caught distant strains of that long ago and far away wee toddler voice once belting out the strains of ‘Baby Beluga’ – probably to the chagrin of his then begrudging teenage brother paddling the kayak.