Doug: *reading sign* "There is nothing scary about this river. You float on it. It's about 3 feet deep. A suckling child could navigate this waterway." OK kids, despite never operating a blow-up raft with three small children, everyone put on your lifejackets and hop on in! I am exuding misplaced confidence in my abilities right now.
Kids: Hooray! Let's float on this placid river and eat goldfish and never worry about a thing.
(ten minutes later, raft is stuck sideways on a rock in the river)
Kids: We're stuck forever! We're all going to die in the raft!
Doug: How the devil did I get our raft stuck on a rock in the placid Boise River?? (gets out of boat and pushes raft off rock, but is suddenly wary about the river)
(an hour and a half later)
Kids: What happened to the rest of the family? Why are we paddling constantly when they were just floating?
Doug: (grim-faced) I don't trust the river. Beneath the river beats a heart of darkness.
Kids: Look, another raft!
(The raft comes upon another raft of three twentysomething women floating and occasionally paddling. They are drifting to the right side of the river.)
Doug: Stick to the middle Dave. Stick to the middle.
BOOM!! The other raft drifts into the foliage on the right side, hits a protruding tree, and wraps itself around the tree. Two women are tossed into the river and start drifting away. The other is stuck on the tree. There is screaming to "MOVE TO THE BANK!" Debris from the raft is floating in the river.
Doug: Let's go help them! (starts paddling, spins the raft in circles, makes no progress back towards crash). Uh, let's at least save their paddle and sandals that are floating in the current next to our boat.
Doug: They'll be all right. *in brain* Uh oh, how in the world am going to pull three kids out of the drink when I inevitably wreck this thing?
After another 30 minutes of nervous-paddling and various encouragements from the kids to "not hit the trees on the side of the river so as not to kill ourselves," we successfully beach the raft at the exit point.
Moral of the story: When you are doing something for the first time, everything seems dramatic.