Well it sounded like a great idea when I signed the boys up in the middle of winter (ya know when it is like freezing here at 60 degrees), but this week turned out to be more of an emotional challenge for me than a physical one for the boys. And I wasn't the only one who learned things...
Let me explain:
The week started great with both boys running to the beach to sign in before I had to call them back to the car to sunscreen all the parts of them that were peaking out of their wetsuits. They met their instructor (a girl-which I thought was even cooler) and they picked out giant surfboards (apparently the larger the board the easier it is to get up) and They carried those huge things to the water then learned a bunch of stuff about rip tides, jelly fish, sting rays, protecting their head from the board (panic for ME was starting to set in at this point) and how to get up on the board. The boys were having a great time. And then they went into the water....and the goal is to walk/swim your way out past the point where the waves 'break' (meaning CRASH with insane strength to the shore of this great continent)....and getting past this point is much harder than you would think when you are all of 50 lbs and 7 or 9 years old......the boys were thrown back to shore hundreds of times (the giant surfboard flying in the air and often landing on their HEAD) with such force that I was certain they were going to come to me after each time and say 'I don't wanna do this' to which I would of said 'me niether-lets get out of here'. But you know what? The never gave up. NEVER. While I was on the shore bitting my nails and worried sick they just kept fighting the ocean with all they had. Tuck managed to get out and stand up coming in on a wave on day one and Jack was able to as well. Day two came and I decided to take the camp's advice and DROP THEM OFF. Sounds horrible- but they had superior supervision from tons of adults and lifegaurds. I went to Starbucks (Hot Spot) for both Day 2 and 3 for the majority of the day. When I picked them up they were so tired and still HAPPY. Oh and still ALIVE, which is really what I was worried about.
Yesterday (Day 4), I stuck aorund a little to watch get photos...and as I watched it happened.... Jack was fighting his way out to the break point and he was devoured by an angry wave which shot his board sky high, that then landed on his head. His instruction and saftey guy on the beach rushed to him...no blood...but what can sometimes be as bad...TEARS. We got ice, and sat down. He cried and cried and said he didn't ever want to surf again. He was never gonna do it again. NEVER. Then he said "man why to I quit everything?" (we tried baseball, football,clarinet and nothing stuck)....so I said back to him-and this took a lot of mom strength to say "Then DON'T". I said 'Don't quit. Keep trying. Don't give up'....I wanted to say- "Of course! Please quit. PLEASE. Lets go for ice cream okay?".....sometimes it is hard to be a good mom. This was one of those times for me. Secretly I wanted him to quit because it would make it better for me, less worry, less fear. So Today was Day 5, and when I asked Tucker to go put on his wetsuit to go- Jack did too. I was really surprised....but I didn't say anything. We went to surf camp like everything was normal. Jack went out today and was able to stand up and surf on nearly every wave he tried. Seriously- he looked like a real surfer to me-and my heart filled with joy to know my boy had learned life's best lesson: NEVER GIVE UP....and he learned it on his own. He pushed himself- and he succeeded. And I learned sometimes it is okay not to 'rescue' my babies from difficult situations...Oh- and I learned surfers have more facial fractures than any other sport (from one of the instructors)...yeah they didn't mention THAT in the brochure!
(Photo: Jack with victory arms raised!)
Photo note: These lifeguard stations are being 'retired' from Huntington Beach, and being replaced with snazzy no-splinter all metal ones....bummer really...since this are still so charming. Perhaps I can buy one and use as a guest house?
Now that would be totally OC of me!