My Encouraging Mom
Kick kick kick, I could hear her say… it was the early 80s, in Sunny SoCal.. another beauty of a summer. It was my older brothers, my mother and I.
My mother feared the waves but loved to swim.
When my mom was very young in Spain she fell into the ocean and had almost drown. A sweet man had rescued her. So naturally, her move to the California coast meant baby waves only. So we found ourselves mainly going to our local Newport Dunes, where we could enjoy the sea water with small lapping waves so our mother could confidently watch us.
By then, the three of us kids were going to the beach and body surfing, boogie boarding, skim boarding, you name it. Because to us, waves were something you would go over, dunk under, or simply ride.
In the summer on the weekdays when our father worked, my mother would take us to the dunes. RVs parked there and you could do anything out there, paddle boat, canoe…. it was basically a big beach lake.
And out in the middle of the lake, pretty far out, for a six, seven year old to paddle was a dock equipped with slides and diving boards. That was where my brothers would swim to, the minute we got to the dunes.
Which left me, with my little inner tube, near the shore and wondering if I could make it out that far. Because it got deep out there. And I was used to ocean waves but always being able to touch the sea floor with my feet at the beach.
This was different. I was challenged. I could see the boys at the buoy, going down the fun slide and making cannonballs into the water and going again and again. And I wanted to be big like them.