Originally the plan was for three families to get together at the beach in Marina del Rey. At the last minute, one family canceled, leaving me with one other mom and four kids. It wasn't looking good for me to get any time in the waves.
Brian, life-long Westsider, suggested Mother's Beach. I could take the board out in the shallow water, practice standing up, and watch the kids at the same time. Sort of.
I was dubious. But I knew enough to agree that, these days, just putting my board on the rack is a victory for my surfing commitment. So my friend Alicia and me packed the cars with kids and equipment and headed to LA's calmest and little-kid-friendliest beach.
After snacking, lunching, baby minding and some iced mocha drinking, I made it to the water. Initially, practice did not make perfect. Popping up from a paddling position still threw me off balance and onto my ass. Standing up directly onto the board? That worked better. And I figured out a few things - bend the knees and look straight ahead, not down.
After a few rounds of that, I WAS able to pop up from the paddling position. A triumph. I cheered. The kids cheered. Ashton cheered. "Mama surfs!" In fact, mama did surf. It was the world's tiniest wave, but I surfed it to shore. Standing up.
I spent the rest of the time taking the kids out on my board. I dragged them around by the leash. Trinity paddled. Wyett and Ashton posed like little Big-Wave men. It felt like the most natural thing in the world and took me completely by surprise. Me, mom, Jes, channeling surf-camp-counselor-for-kids and loving it. It was great.