Full disclosure- I was 42. At that point in my life, I was known by pretty much ANYONE WHO KNEW ME as someone who could NOT sit still on the beach, and, other than the ocean itself, preferred the shade of my porch to getting sandy. To this day, my close friends find it hilarious that I actually tan. They all thought I stayed out of the sun because of my pale skin, not that my skin was pale because I loathed sunbathing. I would take the slopes to the beach every single time. My husband and family rarely saw the beach on vacation.
One summer day at lunch with my Dad, my kids started talking about how they wanted to go to Hawaii and learn how to surf. My Dad was about to be 80, and he exclaimed with great excitement that HE wanted to go to Hawaii for his 80th Birthday (which could not have been farther from the truth, but that was the kind of guy he was). It was decided- Thanksgiving in Hawaii!
Our first stop was ‘The Big Pink,” otherwise known as the Royal Hawaiian. My husband and I carted our three young daughters down the beach to the famed Waikiki Beach Boys as their Grandfather watched, binoculars in hand, from his hotel balcony.
One by one, an “Uncle” (a name of respect used in Hawaii to refer to someone older than you) came out to take each of my girls for their first surf lesson. This particular group of Uncles could have possibly been celebrating with my Dad. The young man assigning lessons looked at me and said, “Hey Mom, why don’t you give it a shot?” Andrew laughed and said, “Yeah, Honey, why don’t YOU give it a shot.” The girls were really excited by this idea, and I figured it was better than sitting on the beach spectating, so I said, “Sure.”
The guy yells out, “Trevor!” Andrew cocks an eyebrow. Not Uncle Trevor. Out from the back rolls this blond adonis Laird-Hamilton-at-18 type, literally his long, blond locks blowing in the wind. I started to think, “I can DEFINITELY surf,” as Andrew blurted out, “Maybe this is a bad idea.”
We paddled out on what must have been a 12 foot soft top. At first, Trevor paddled and rode with me. The first time I stood up, and he pushed me on my own, it was like the first time you rode a bike downhill without training wheels, but it kept getting better each time. I felt like such a badass. I was riding waves. Serious Hawaiian waves.
It was also so fun to watch the girls giggling and smiling and loving every minute of it. When we rocked up to lunch with my parents, my Dad started laughing and looked at my husband and said, “ You, my friend, are in trouble. She is hooked.”
Incidentally, I also had this cute bikini and rashguard on. Not gonna lie, I knew I had a whole MILF/Mermaid vibe going. Until I got the photos back. My super cute (as imagined) surfer girl hair was actually more plastered to my face in awkward and unflattering shapes. And that cute bikini- sagging to reveal a fair amount of butt crack for what had to have been a horrifying experience for poor young Trevor riding behind me. Dad was right; I was hooked.