Parenthetically Speaking

Catch a Wave…

February 7, 2014




Parenting, it’s not always a mouth full of sand.

Destin, Florida, our spot, our getaway…skin was browned, shells were collected, games were played, memories were made and boogie boarding was mastered, (well by the children at least).

Upon arriving in Destin we would unpack the minivan, and then all 6 of us would head to Walmart.  Food for the week was purchased along with four boogie boards.

Boogie boarding!   Quite sure I never  really figured it out, but once in a while, ever so often, I would hit it just right and have the ride of a lifetime (well at least it was pure excitement to me).

What an adventure, the smell of ocean air, the feel of the cool water splashing on my legs as I wade out to the deeper waters.  With a boogie board strapped to my wrist, I would position myself to literally, ‘catch a wave’.  I needed just the right angle, (did I even know what the right angle was?) and then at just the right time (did I ever truly figure out the timing?), I would throw myself face forward onto the board and hope that the wave was in the right place to push me toward the shore.

And if all aligned (sheer happenstance of this I am sure) then the wave would swell below my board and send me flying across the top of the water.  I caught the wave (well the wave caught me) and I was thrilled with the fun and ease of the ride.  Victory!

Of course it always ended the same way…

The force of the water would land me face down at the water’s edge with a mouth full of sand.  Next step, simply spit out the sand, grab the board and wade back out for the next wave.

The moment of defeat, mouth full of sand, was not a place I intended to stay. I wanted back out there for a chance of victory once again.

Boogie boarding philosophy, spit out the sand quickly and head back out for the next great wave!

The rhythm of boogie boarding soon began to shed light on my parenting, the moments of defeat and victory alike.

Four children (arriving in a 5 ½ year time frame) ushered in many moments of victory and defeats, over these past 26+ years.

Wading into the adventure of potty training, the moment she finally got it, Victory!  Next moment, a note sent home from mom’s day out, biting!

A mouth full of sand.

Wading into the adventure of elementary school, an advanced reader Victory! Next moment, suspended for bullying.

A mouth full of sand.

Wading into the adventure of teen years, an employed teen, with a bank account, and a debit card, Victory! Next moment, overdraft notices start pouring in.

A mouth full of sand.

Parenting, it is just like boogie boarding.  After 26 years of being a mom, I am still unsure of the angle, the timing and I certainly have not perfected the navigation.

But I did figure one thing out.   The mouth full of sand moments would not be where we lived.  Instead we would address the failure (spit out the sand) and then move on, (wade back out to catch the next wave of victory). We would live in the Victory!

So parents, if today is a mouth full of sand day, take heart there is always another great wave to be had.  Wade back out!