Memories of Throwing Stones in Water

Our family has been coming to Niagara Falls together since my daughters were little girls (and to give you a sense of the time which has passed, they are age 15 and 17 as I write this.)  I have a rather fond memory of my older daughter on her first trip to Niagara Falls… I think she was about 4 years old.

Her Mom and I had told her all about Niagara, as any parent would… “You’re going to see a great big waterfall… bigger than anything you’ve ever seen before!”  Her eyes were wide with excitement, her smile huge.  “Can I throw rocks in the water?” she asked, since that was her favorite activity of all time.  (If we took her to the park, she’d be at the creek, tossing stones in and watching them splash.  If we took her camping, there she’d be, tossing pebbles into the lake by the handful… just to see them splash.)

“No Hon”, we said.  “It’s not that kind of water.”

“But what kind is it?”

“Big. HUGE!  And the water is so far down that you won’t be able to see your rock hit.” 

“But I just want to throw rocks in the water!”  My wife and I groaned, since her rock throwing sessions could last well into the afternoon if she got her way.

“Tell you what.  If you see this waterfall and still want to throw rocks in the water, we’ll find a place where there’s rocks.  Is that OK?”    She nodded, sucking her thumb.  So we finally arrived at Niagara’s Horseshoe  Falls and we stood together at the railing.  She stared at the mist and she stared at the water plunging straight down, without a word.  We didn’t even know if she was having a good time.  “You still want to throw rocks in the water?’ we asked. 

“No.”  She was clearly enthralled with the water however.

My wife and I looked at each other and smiled, happy that Niagara Falls must have been so impressive to our sweet little daughter that she didn’t care to throw rocks anymore. 

We stayed at Niagara Falls for 3 days that time.  We left on a Monday and were driving down the Niagara Parkway, when suddenly she piped up and said, “What about the rocks?  You said we’d find a place where there’s rocks so I could throw them in the water!”

My wife and I were confused.  “You said you didn’t want to throw rocks in the water… you said so at the giant waterfall!”

“Not there, but I want to somewhere else.”  Either she’d misunderstood or we’d misunderstood, but we parked our car at a nice place along the Niagara River and had a picnic lunch… and my young daughter had the time of her life…tossing rock after rock into the water and watching them splash.  She also found some pretty pebbles and some fossils, and we explained to her that ‘fossils’ were like old shells and animals that lived long ago and left their marks in the rocks.  She took home the pretty pebbles and every single fossil she found that day.  

Other than that she’s  now a teenager, not much has changed with her.  A couple of years ago she competed in 4H at the state level with her ‘Rocks & Minerals’ project and brought home the big trophy!  She still loves Niagara Falls, and still loves water whether she’s fishing, swimming or throwing rocks to watch them splash.    

Age 16 in this photo and skipping stones in a Pennsylvania USA lake… but the roots go all the way back to Niagara Falls Canada.  A senior in high school now… She’ll be in college for Mechanical Engineering next year… wow!

If you have a Niagara Falls Memory that makes you smile, I’d love to hear it… feel free to leave your comment!  I hope you love these Places At Niagara Falls as our family does!


~ by Greg Nold on October 19, 2010.

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