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Rogue Waves

June 20, 2013

First off, thank you for the many heartfelt responses to my last post. Honestly, it was written from a humorous point of view. My humor is dry and tinged with sarcasm which apparently didn’t come through so well. I’m not panicked about our trip and actually very much look foward to it. The very situations that I wrote about are those that will give the trip richness and moments to remember. Sorry that you worried. Moving on.

Rogue Waves

I need to come to peace with the ocean here and my love/fear relationship with it. It’s a healthy fear I think but maybe a bit hypersensitive. Occasionally we get alerts about pacific storms, high wind advisory, rogue waves. My mind never gets past “Rogue Wave” and the visual is plastered there (see images below). Scott, my swimmer hubby, gets a big chuckle out of this but it really does happen. Really it does! When a storm comes in from across the pacific it can pick up a good bit of steam. The waves can come in at 20 or more feet and slam the shore. Many of the beaches here are nestled up against cliffs and so when these waves come in they hit the cliffs and pretty much wipe the beach clean. If you happen to be standing on that beach well you can guess what happens.  “Never turn your back to the ocean here” a lifeguard tells us one day. “The water seems calm and placid but big waves sneak up and can pull you out”. Scott and the kids assimilate that information like they read it on the back of a cereal box and move on. Again, I’m left with the visual of some monstrous wave coming in and sucking one of my precious kiddies out to sea. I did say I was a bit sensitive to it.

Evan, Ethan and Alex love the water, I can hardly keep them out of it. While at the beach recently they were running in and out of the chilly waves, dipping and dodging the big ones. I have to hold myself back while I watch them and realize this is a job better suited to Scott. Mom has wave issues but I am getting better. So we were at the beach and Evan was playing in the waves where they break and the sets were coming pretty quietly and at decent intervals, all was well. Evan stood up and turned his back to the ocean (not a good thing to do) and the next wave that broke was larger and stronger. The water consumed him, broke right over him and sent him tumbling through the froth. Head, foot, arm was all I saw. When he emerged he was crying and if his mouth hadn’t been full of sand he would’ve said something like “what was that?”. His face said it all. Ah yes, the learning moment.

The kids want to surf and I need to let them and not hover in fear. They need a good mentor, good equipment, a wetsuit and probably need their dad to take them to the beach without me while they learn. Here I am again trying to move out of my own way, a reoccuring theme. The thought brings me to a book called A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Donald Miller. In the book Miller writes about how each of us is living a story and that we get to decide the role we play in it. Certainly our time here is a story and I suppose there is a big decision to make. Will I be cast as the ocean fearing mom or the 40 something surfing mom? I prefer the latter in my head, it certainly sounds cooler, if only I can dodge the rogue waves and keep letting California happen.







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  1. Kath permalink

    They exist, watched it on chasing maverics. If it helps the ocean scares the heck out of me too. My tummy is churning just reading.

  2. Thanks Kat, knew you’d have my back on this one. Mavericks is just south of SF. Last year the waves were 50 feet. Crazy!

  3. Amy Peterson permalink

    Wow. Those pix are incredible. I’m scared of the ocean too when the kids are around it. Going to the Outer Banks next week. Here comes the anxiety! See you next week!!!

  4. Lee Rust permalink

    Great pictures!! I love to “see” those waves, but I don’t get anywhere near them! I love to watch them from the shore at a safe distance — a wonderful and vivid reminder of the power of nature.

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