Did I tell you that we live about 15 minutes from the beach? A nice pleasant beach, with sand and waves and sunshine and surfer dudes? Well, we do. Commence your jealousy.
I have never lived in a state with a seashore. Grew up in Arizona, then Michigan (which has those big lakes but it is not the same, nope), then Tennessee, and now, finally, a beach. It's funny actually. My geography, on the whole, sucks, so when Ron interviewed here and described it as "very maritime" I was perplexed. Charleston? The ocean? Reeeaaally? (To which she promptly replied, yes dumbass, it is a major port, rolling her eyes at my Yankee idiocy.)
Now, four weeks or so here and we've spent four days at the beach. Two have been in the last week, and the most recent was today. Ron has always loved to bodyboard, so we stopped at Wal-Mart on the way there the first time and bought the cheapest, ugliest board ever. This of course screams to everyone at the beach that we are white trash. I had to make sure that we all used plenty of sunscreen, lest we leave literal rednecks.
The bodyboard has provided him hours of fun, while Claire and I sit on the beach and get sand in our crotches. He'll go out for a while, catch a few waves, get beat down by one, come in and say hello, and then charge back out into the surf. He's super cute, in a 12 year old boy kind of way. At one point he was trying to hang with us for a bit, but then he looked at the ocean and declared, "There are waves, and they aren't being ridden!" as though they exist solely for him. Silly. Of course, this same man was kneeling on the sand, telling Claire and I, "I think I have mastered the ocean!" Predictably, the next wave broke right in front of us and knocked him heels-over-head under the water. Gotta love karma.
Of course, I couldn't let him have ALL the fun, so I took a few turns on the bodyboard myself. (Bodyboarding! While pregnant! Gasp! Choke! Sputter!) And while my husband was busy trying to "master" the ocean, I found myself learning some life lessons from the water.
If you want a good ride, you have to commit. Jump in, kick your feet, and trust the ocean to carry you forward.
Be patient. It can take a while for the right wave to come along. Don't take the first one that looks decent. It will take you for a short ride and then spit you out, and you might have to watch the right one pass you by.
If a wave knocks you on your ass, you're smart to stand up again as fast as you possibly can. There's a decent chance that an even bigger one is right behind it.
And finally, there is a place, just beyond the breakers, where you can pleasantly bob up and down with the swells without feeling the chaos of the shore. It takes some effort to get there, and you might get pulled and pushed and knocked down on the way, but the sense of peace is worth it. There you can find that your feet are firmly in the sand, the swells may lift you up and put you down, but you stay centered in between the peaks and the valleys.
Beach nirvana, that's what I'm talking about.