If your friends jumped off a bridge, does that mean you would you jump too?

What about if it were your friends AND your family?

It turns out at our house, the answer is “yes” for five out of six of us.

I go back to school one week from today, so we’re trying to fit in some final summer memories before we go back to routine. My best friend of 39 years is home from Newfoundland this week, so we went to their cottage in Amherst Shore (on the Northumberland Strait) for the afternoon. We had texted the night before while making arrangements, and Sandy mentioned that they would be jumping off the Northport Bridge around 2pm.

Because we had a full-house leaving and a new full-house coming in, by the time we had the cleanup finished, it was 1pm before we were on the road, and closer to 2:30 before we arrived in Northport, not sure if we’d find them still there or not.

They were.

The six of us have a bit of thrill-seeking running through our DNA. We love roller-coasters and various rides, while D’Arcy is a certified scuba diver and has gone skydiving before children. Funnily enough, I don’t think any of us are particularly fond of heights though.

When we arrived at the bridge, Mike, Beth, Clara, and Quinn were already jumping from the dock and swimming, while Dave and Nate were trying to catch some fish. There were other families and groups of kids already jumping off the bridge.

We had a quick discussion about who was going to try it, and Sarah & Alex immediately scampered up the hill to the railing with Mike and Quinn following. I announced that I was going to consider it, and Beth looked at me and said, “Well, if you’ll do it, I’ll do it.”

Challenge accepted.

I have no idea what the height of the bridge is, but I know it’s higher than a high diving board, but lower than some of the platforms we’ve been watching at the Olympics. Sarah took a deep breath and leapt off without hesitation, swimming to the side before scampering up to jump again. Mike & Alex followed while Beth & I stood at the railing trying to steady our racing hearts and convince ourselves/each other it was a good idea. She took a breath and went for it, reversing the peer pressure. Since she did it, I now had to, didn’t I?

I did, and it was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.

As I resurfaced, Sarah said to me, “you didn’t need to scream, Mom.” (Like I could have controlled it…)

I actually jumped twice, then Olivia and her siblings jumped together. (Evan stayed firmly dry and warm on the dock.) After I had jumped twice, D’Arcy took a turn while I was in charge of the camera. I have to give him credit, he was more patient than I, while waiting. (I almost missed his big moment.)

He, Beth & Olivia only jumped the once, while Sarah, Alex & Mike jumped multiple times, and Quinn eventually jumped twice before heading back to the cottage.

At the cottage we ate, and drank, and kayaked, and swam, and got caught up. Evan & Alex took the van before dinner to go visit a friend from curling camp who lives in Newfoundland, but has a cottage close by. Cousin, Hannah, drove over the bridge from PEI when she got off work to join us. We had hodgepodge and ribs for supper before continuing a “tradition” of slingshotting things off the bank. This year, the list included crabapples, water balloons, and a dead fish.

Before it got too dark, Evan drove us home so that we could relieve my parents from their B&B hosting duties, and catch the end of the Olympic closing ceremonies from Brazil. It was a fabulous summer day in Nova Scotia!




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