9/14/08

The Unexpected Moments

When I met John in college, he was winning surf contests in San Diego and managing a surf shop between college classes. He not only inspired me to want to surf, but he encouraged and coached me to improve. I bought my first surfboard when I was 21. He would grin as we paddled out together. He would guide me to a suitable wave and chant, "Paddle, paddle, paddle" as I struggled to propel myself forward. Moments like these repeated themselves for a good 5 years. I never got good, but I got comfortable in any surf condition.
Then, life changed. I got pregnant. My surfboard gathered dust. I breastfed, I adapted to life as a mom. John drove to the beach with other friends, leaving me and baby behind. We moved to the beach so he could surf more often. My surfboard migrated from one dark corner of our old garage to another dark corner of our new garage. I got pregnant again. I breastfed. My surfboard got dustier.
Then, miraculously, John ordered a new longboard for me. With the expectation of a new board, I renewed my interest in surfing. I dusted off my old board and made an occasional foray into the surf on our quiet stretch of beach. The juggle of children, towels, sand shovels, snacks and coolers was enough to make a girl want a donkey and a Cabana Boy. Add to this chaos a 9 foot longboard and wetsuit and you can figure on arriving on the beach in time for a nap and much needed massage. Forget further physical exercise.
At Shelby's preschool, I had the good fortune of meeting a bona fide Surfing Momma. Almost immediately, my competitive side barrelled into play. I wanted to be an even better surfer. I wanted to make time to surf. I wanted to be good.
I had new goals, new hurdles (that didn't include behavior charts and potty training). I told John one night, "I want to be a better surfer." I also mentioned guitar lessons and fluent Italian. Why not dream big!?
A few days passed before my girlfriends and I schlepped all our gear, all our kids, and all our surfboards down to the beach to make a day of it. We had a blast catching rollers on the inside! It reminded me how much I enjoy the ocean. It reminded me that moms can be kids, too.

The unexpected moment came yesterday when John and his buddy headed out for a morning surf session. Knowing that John had taken a much needed day off from work, I reveled in the fact that daddy was home for an entire day! YAY! So, I happily busied myself at home with the kids while John walked down to the beach. The girls and I planned out our "Daddy Day" while cleaning up breakfast dishes. We packed up the stroller for a run on the beach and headed out. We met John and friend at the end of the street.
"You should be out there, G, it's a perfect day for long boarding!" John smiled (smiling is much easier on his day off).
I surveyed the factors: sunshine, warm weather, sparkly ocean and manageable waves, OH YEAH, AND A THIRD ADULT TO WATCH THE KIDS!!!!!!!!!
"Okay! Let's do it!" I said.
We raced back to the house and grabbed the rest of my gear (which seemed lighter and easier to carry when shared between myself and two other men).
John and I paddled out together. Definitely an unexpected moment.
We sat in the water and watched the kids tootle around on the sand with our friend, J.
He coached me into a wave. "You got it, G." I paddled in rhythm to his chanting ("Paddle. Paddle. Paddle.") I stood up. I dropped in. I turned. I was riding a wave!!!!
Repeat above story 10 times.
More unexpected moments.
Today was the best date I've had with John in 10 years. AND I SURFED!!!
Totally unplanned.
Totally unexpected.
Totally awesome.

2 comments:

JO said...

YEA!!! I am so excited for you. That is great...a date catching waves...twice in one week! Super-mom.

H said...

That is awesome! Good to know these days still exist.