At the end of last summer, I bought a wetsuit. It wasn’t a particularly cold summer, the water temp was…pleasant. So there was no good reason that I had spent the majority of my time on the hot sand, watching (and cheering) my boys on as they body-boarded, did some stand-up paddleboarding and played in the water.
Yay, Boys!! You go and do that Boy Thing!
Ugh. What has happened to me?
Pre-kids, I was always the one on the stand-up paddleboard, the surf board, the wind-surfer. My Dad was a big believer in taking risks, in trying everything once, and my childhood summers were filled with all kinds of adventure: that time I took my tiny sailboat out alone and got stuck across the lake (I learned how to tack after that). The time my friends and I took off with Uncle Jim’s jetskiis and almost ran out of gas (hmmmm…he still doesn’t know about that one). That insanely frustrating day I tried to one-ski and fell 20 times in a row. THIS was summer.
So when, exactly, did I turn into the Mum on The Towel? My downward spiral into spectator-only-mode was, most likely, an effect of years of sleep deprivation and general exhaustion but ultimately….WHO CARES? It was, quite simply, time. It was time to take myself back, to show my boys that This Girl Plays Hard, and when I’m 85+ years old sitting on the beach watching my grandkids play (assuming I’ll be so lucky)….hopefully I’ll have a sense of peace, knowing that my days were richly spent.
So. It was time to tackle my biggest hurdle to ocean play: Cold water. I hate (hatehatehate) being cold. I HATE it. But I had been resisting the urge to buy a wetsuit because I felt like some kind of poser. Surfing? OK. I get it. But general frolicking and body-boarding with four year olds? Uh….seriously? A wetsuit?
Yes. Seriously a wetsuit. Once I got over myself, this wetsuit business completely changed my Mom-at-the-Beach game. We’re talking hours of playing in the ocean, where my pre-wetsuit-self would only have lasted 20 min tops.