I am a terrible surfer. After days of practice, I remain a spectacularly terrible surfer. I took to surfing like my dog to knitting. My kids picked it up like fish to water, and my husband caught on over the course of a day.
I fought. Fought the waves. Fought timing. Fought my leash. Fought popping up. Fought front to back balance. Fought side to side balance. My sinus cavities were, however, thoroughly flushed out.
Once home, my son edited together GoPro videos of us surfing. I laughed and reminded him that there’s not video of me actually surfing. He and my daughter quickly jumped to my defense and praised my effort and progress.
But this isn’t a story about surfing. This is a story for moms. Moms who dream up the trips. Moms who make the adventures happen. This is a story for moms who show their kids it’s okay to try something new and be terrible. Moms who show their kids you don’t have to be the best, you just have to try your best. This is a high-five for moms who get out and play, whether they looks like they belong in a Title Nine catalog or not. This is an ode to moms who know that all the hassle and heartache that comes with adventuring with kids is for a reason.
I hope when things get tough for my kids they remember me getting pummeled by wave after wave, and trying again. I hope that hiking in the heat, and skiing in the cold, gives them skills they need to get through uncomfortable times. I hope the fall they take when they’re climbing teaches them to reach out and get back on the wall. I hope when their lives falter they use their bodies and brains to solve the problem. I hope they appreciate that the fun stuff takes work, but that the fun outweighs the work.
So, congratulations, Mom. You did it. You got the kids outside this summer. You got dirty with them. You saw something new with them. Maybe you learned, like I did, that part of a banana slug is called the mucus plug, and had to explain why you laughed...because you know...mom stuff.