So we’ve been at the beach for 1 week and it was the best full week ever. There was minimal fighting, sand, salt and wind swept kids who crashed the minute we returned to the RV, and total utter fun and relaxation. We’d get down to the beach around 10 am and not return to camp until 5 or 6 or even later. Shower, eat and pass out. Repeat the next day. The surf was calm and gentle Sun, Mon,Tues and Wed and then it got crazy huge on Thursday, Fri, Sat and then today it was peaceful again. It gave us all something exciting. On the crazy days, Grady, Brody, Kenny & Dally took out their kayaks. On the peaceful days, Cardy, Maddy, Rowdy and Emmy were able to forge out into the open sea and boogie board, dive for crabs, surf, jump the waves and have an all around blast. Of course, we had to stir up some trouble … we do everywhere we go. We drove the lifeguards crazy because for some unknown reason we weren’t allowed to “swim”. He even called the cops on Tuesday who commanded that we obey — geesh, us and cops!! But I finally caught on that you could say “we are swimming at our own risk” and they leave you alone!! Golden!! I couldn’t have asked for it to be any better. I’m sad to be leaving. If I lived at the beach, we’d be there every day!! No doubt and I’d be 90 lbs — you can’t keep me outta the water!!!
But, for some of us, and I’m not naming names (Grady), the calm surf days all but made him sleepy. The kid needs extreme sports, he needs an adrenaline rush, in one word, he needs kayaking. He wants nothing more than to hit Class V runs on a daily basis! Class IV is fun for him, Class V gives him the edge he needs. Kayaking has ruined him for normal life. He spent hours in the surf playing around in his kayak, only to get frustrated because it wasn’t extreme enough, it wasn’t crazy enough, it wasn’t … life threatening enough. And then, to add insult to injury, he had to wait for the “good waves”. He doesn’t understand the word “chill”. He certainly can’t do it!
But, just as I was getting annoyed, I had another thought. He has a passion, he has drive and he has a goal. Grady has been kayaking for a mere 3 years, only last year and this year has he been freestyle kayaking and he’s never ever been more passionate about anything and he’s participated in every single sport and excelled. Soccer, Ice Hockey, Football, Skiing, Snowboarding — he’s done them all, continues to snowboard and out of all of them, kayaking is something he literally lives for. He’s completely self taught, he watches other boaters, EJ, Dane Jackson, Nick Troutmn, Clay Wright, Jud Kaiser, Stephen Wright … yeah, the TOP boaters in the WORLD and he learns. Grady and Brody both want nothing more than to train all winter long in hopes of making the US Freestyle Team. This would be a dream come true, they have the drive, they have the desire and the natural skills to be top contenders … they are lacking only in experience — but that counts for a lot! It’s something they hope to overcome, which is why we are heading to the World Cup Series. The more competitions against experienced boaters, the more experience they gain. After that it’s Gauley Fest and then … who knows.
As a mom, it’s amazing to see your children develop a passion. I’m asked 100 times if 10 if I would rather they enjoyed snorkeling or soccer or any other “safe” sport. I’d be lying if I said NO! but that’s just not us. As I’m finding out, we need adrenaline, we need extreme, and if we don’t have it, we make it! Of course, we are not reckless. Kady, Kenny and Dally won’t be running Class V anytime soon … the what-if’s for their young age are just entirely too great and one or two of them have absolutely no fear of anything … so trusting their instincts is out!! Plus, they have a lifetime to hone their skills and become somewhat mature!
As a mom, it’s equally amazing to have my entire family under one mobile roof … less than 300 sq feet doesn’t phase us. This is home for now — and for the forseeable future. We, Dan & I, feel very blessed that we are able to provide such an amazing life for our kids, that they have found a passion, that each of them is developing their own self and doing so without outside influences!!