With Luna it was slow (read Luna’s birth story here). Contractions started after dinner and I was up all night dancing in the moonlight, too excited to sleep. I shared the sunrise with a hummingbird looking out over the lake, spent the day getting in and out and in and out of the tub, but my cervix just didn’t want to open. Ultimately, I ended up pushing her out partially anesthetized on my back on a hospital bed, 30 something hours after contractions began. It wasn’t the gentle home birth I had imagined, and I really hoped the second would go better.
It’s been a while since Luna has wanted to get on the board in the ocean. We didn’t want to force it, preferring to wait until she asked. The last few days she has been asking. Yesterday morning she surprised us by riding her first few waves solo. She was even paddling back to dad (with some pushes from mom) after each ride. We didn’t have a camera.
Today, armed with a GoPro we tried again. The waves were a little bit bigger and more consistent so she was a little more nervous, but she did get this one great ride and ended it with a big smile!
Agua, mama, Dada, Hola, and “woof” (as an answer to ‘what does the doggy say’). She’s one year and one week old and adding new words every day!
“When is she going to catch her first wave?” I’d been asked that question a few times and always answered “when it seems like the right time.”
I didn’t want to force it. The last thing I wanted was for her to wipeout, have a bad experience, and then develop a fear that would take years to overcome. I was happy with her being happy playing at the water’s edge or splashing her little feet in the shallowest water.
Then one bright sunny day I decided to try pulling her on a boogie board along the wet sand. I started slow and checked in with her often and saw that she was liking it!
She even wiped out and rolled off into the sand once, but was willing to get back on. Then we started getting a little too brave and close to the water. A small wave came up and hit her on the side and dumped her off into the shallow water. I scooped her up immediately, but she had a face full of salty sand. It was up her nose, in her ears, and stuck in her eyelashes. She cried a bit but it seemed that she was more scared by my reaction. I was worried that the game was over, but she got back on the board.
A few days later the waves were really small and the tide was perfect. Little tiny whitewash waves were breaking in knee deep water and rolling gently towards shore. There was a 9’6 on the beach so we grabbed it and waded out ’til we were about waist deep. One of our instructors was there to help out. She positioned the board and I sat down with my legs out in front of me and held the little girl in my lap. When the right wave came in, the instructor pushed us in and we rode towards shore.
The first wave, she was dancing her little legs around and we rode all the way in. We ended up catching four waves like that and I was so happy! She wasn’t laughing like crazy, or crying in fear. She seemed to be very serious about it, watching and taking it all in.
A little while later I decided to try it with a boogie board. I waited for a gentle little wave, plopped her down on the board and then laid down on top of her and we rode that one all the way in also. That, she didn’t seem to like as much. Maybe the water was too close to her face, maybe she didn’t like me on top of her, or maybe she was just like, “Mama, I don’t want to be a boogie boarder, I want to surf!”
There is absolutely no rush, but I do hope she falls in love with surfing as I have so that in a few years we’ll be able to share waves together.
Every afternoon he takes her to the waterfall. It’s a short walk. It’s a small waterfall. Just a trickle really, but there’s a cool little pool there. Waist deep on him. Just enough space for her. “kick kick kick”. “splash splash splash”.
She gasps at the chilly water. Every time. But if you put her in slowly, she starts smiling. She doesn’t mind the waterfall droplets on her face. Her little tongue twists and curls in delight – a new thing, this control of her tongue. Two tiny lower teeth show in her smile.
Usually I’m surfing. Cheering Amigas into waves. Hoping for some sharp turns of my own. But today is particularly hot.
So while the girls stretch out in the shade of a sea-view yoga platform the three of us sneak off to the waterfall. I trail behind them a few steps clicking away at the shutter button. Capturing their time together. This precious moment, so fleeting. She’s nearly 7 months old already and growing so fast, Learning so much. It’s true what they say.
The jungle is heavy around us. Toucans, scarlet macaws, green vine snakes, squirrel monkeys. Yesterday they watched the monkeys up close from the coolness of the pool. Last night we saw the long-tailed silhouettes in the trees above us. A family of more than a dozen complete with a baby-toting mother flying between coco fronds. We were sandy and salty looking up as the last light faded, this curious little naked creature in arms, and I.
Now it’s daddy time. He points out shrimp in the pool, lifts a leaf, raises her above his head to get the giggles going. I balance on a rock looking through the lens at a scene I can hardly believe is my reality. Appreciating.
Hot air, green rustling leaves, pounding surf, falling water, and my two loves.
Set a goal, attract what you want, work hard, and live your dream. After loving life as a competitive pro surfer, then a pro free surfer, building a business and relocating full time to Nicaragua, I wanted to have a family. I’m now happily married living in a house that we built with our two dogs and a 4.5 month old baby girl Luna. Here’s a little video sample of daily life on a day off from running my Surf Yoga Retreat business. Life is good!
This one is fun for everyone!