No. 29: Recapturing a part of yourself you thought you’d lost to adulthood. There are three kinds of water people in this world: The jumpers, the waders and the watchers. Fire sign or not, I was a water baby from day one — always happiest near, on or in a large body of water. One of my earliest memories is sitting on the shore of the lake at my cottage in Muskoka. Chubby toddler hands scrabbling with delight in the sand, our black lab Baby running herd on me to keep me from the water, wet black tail whacking me with each circle, dissolving me into a fit of giggles. As a child, I’d be up at the chilly crack of dawn all summer, nagging my grandmother to let me go swim in the lake while the fog still blanketed it. Fast forward the years, and I am still happiest near water — lake or ocean. But to get in? It has to be south of the equator hot. Somewhere on the journey from youth to adulting, I lost my jump-in-no-matter-the-temperature swagger and became a wader or a watcher. Until last week with Robbie and his kids at the cottage. If you want to reclaim any part of your childhood self or spirit you thought you’d lost, spend time in the company of children. After gingerly dipping a toe in the water and deeming it too cool, I opted for standup paddle boarding. Jack gripped the back of my board and said he’d serve as my motor (I was taxiing Maggie). Pro tip: Never trust a little boy with a proclivity for mischievous fun. After a few calm circles around the inlet, Jack suddenly wobbled the board without warning — throwing me off balance and straight into the lake, sunglasses and all. I powered up, prepared to be indignant, and instead, laughed along with them. The water felt wonderful. I felt wonderful. From that moment on, I reclaimed my status as a lake jumper — early mornings, late evenings, cool days and hot. I’ve been on a mission to nurture my inner child this year, but sometimes you have to be led by a child or two to a place you’d forgotten how to find in yourself. Having that experience the week after the anniversary of Gabe’s death made it more poignant. A kid-led lesson I won’t forget.