Surfing and being a mom are two unrelated activities. While they aren’t really related, I realize I have learned a lot about being a mom from surfing.
Surfing is very much dependent upon Mother Nature. Her mood sets the tone for the waves. They range from calm and peaceful to turbulent and violent. My daughter Dominique has moods that can swing in much the same way. Some days she is sweet and charming other days, she is not. But the beauty with Mother Nature and with teens, there is a time and place for all moods. The violent waves will eventually subside in the same way the “I hate you moments” do. Eventually things will be calm and peaceful, even if it is just for a moment.
In the lineup you have to sit and wait for the next set of waves. In the moments you wait, you have to be patient. If you rush and paddle for something that isn’t a wave it can put you in the wrong spot when the real waves to come. As a mom I need patience too. Dominique acts like she isn’t interested in anything, she ignores pleas to do her homework, she forgets to do her chores, she has a messy room, she doesn’t always listen, she thinks she knows everything, she gets frustrated when we talk, she gets a D in chemistry………….the list could go on. In these moments I have to remain calm and have patience. If I overreact, she might shut down and not want to communicate with me at all. Instead I have to be present, be patient, and wait so when the really big issues come, she will come to me.
There are days when the waves are small and gentle and there are also days when the waves are much bigger. On the days that the waves are bigger, it is hard to paddle out. And when you do paddle out and hit the lineup the waves appear to tower over you like a skyscraper. It takes a lot of courage to go out when the waves are big. Parenting also takes a lot of courage, especially when you are raising a teenager. Over the past few years Dominique has put Jim and I through the ringer. We have faced her exploring her sexuality, being afraid to drive, watching her play sports where she can get hurt, watching her get hurt, flirting with boys, learning about Facebook, going to movies and dances by herself…………again the list could go on. But through it all you have to be courageous because she is learning to become and adult, she has to learn to explore the world without your guidance. It is terrifying, but it is part of being a parent.
When you surf you will wipe out. But when you wipe out, you have to get back up on the board and go out again. In order to surf you need to be resilient. In parenting you will sometimes fail. But you have to get back up and keep being a mom.
The most important thing, surfing is fun. Riding a wave is exhilarating. It makes me smile and fills me with joy. As a mom, I have to remember to have fun and enjoy it. It can be challenging and tough, but most days being a mom makes me smile and fills me with joy. There are few things as exhilarating as watching your baby girl grow up to a beautiful woman.
Thank you for being such a great kid Dominique.
Happy Mother’s Day.