Tuesday, June 11, 2013

beach day bday

Saturday was my official debut as a helicopter mom. You know the ones. The ones that stalk their children like prey on the wild frontiers of the playgrounds and parks. The ones that hyperventilate at the scrape of their child's knee or bump of their child's chin. I'm not her. I'm not that guy.

I'm the one that lets her kid get knocked over by the surf so that she will learn to have a healthy respect for the power of the ocean. (Ask me how that's working out...has Jordan stopped trying to drown herself via giggling through the soup of the day's current? Maybe just a little. Mostly no.) I'm that callous mom that the helicopters point their horror faces at when Jordan biffs face first on the her way up the slide steps, and while she debates whether to employ water works I gloss "oh, you're fine." (Hey, it works. She believes me.)

But you know why I can act that way in those situations? Because I ultimately have control over them. When Jordan gets knocked down by a harmless wave at our usual beach, I pick her up and say "See? You have to be careful in the water" and she proceeds with a little more caution. When she takes a fall at the park and seems legitimately upset about it, I know hugs and sympathy bring about comfort in t - 12 seconds.

Saturday, however, we tried a new beach for Sean's birthday.

sorry for the Insta-peat, but I'm in serious love with this pic.

We decided to trek down Malibu way for the day instead of usual turn up towards Santa Barbara. Malibu always comes with a price, as we always forget until we're in the thick of it. We wandered for upwards of half an hour in surf traffic looking for reasonable parking, with the end result of paying $10 to park in some valet lot where they don't valet. (Seriously, the attendants wear uniforms and point, but you park and unpark your own car and cough up ten big ones. Are you for real, Malibu?)

My dad had warned me beforehand, but I didn't realize that the surf was HUGE. The beach sloped dramatically downward, and the waves crashed directly on shore. There was no room for error here. Frolicking in playful ankle-deep currents was not an option. Jordan did her signature sprint for the BEATS!! and I shrieked like a raving banshee and grabbed her by both hands. My hover status was advanced professional for the next couple hours. These were the types of waves that would first knock the feet from under you, then drag you back with them to be slammed on shore by the next wave in line. NO THANKS.

Fortunately, it takes very little to redirect Jordan's attention to not-that-exciting endeavors.

what bone-crushing surf?

Hey thanks Starbucks, for that totally impromptu sandtoy decoy.
Jordan filled, capped, stuck the straw in, uncapped, and poured out sand for a straight half hour. Easily pleased.

Our Sunny with a Chance of Drowning excursion turned out to be lovely, as long as Jordan stayed 10+ yards from the shoreline. I really have never experienced that type of anxiety over my child's surroundings before, and have newfound sympathy for what the stressed copter moms must feel all the time. We returned to our regular beach on Sunday, where I watched Jordan prance regularly in the regular puddles while I endured a regular amount of uneasiness - none.

So Sean is 27 and I have the privilege of lording my youth over him for a few days. We're a little over a week apart so I will be joining the ranks of "late twenties" fairly shortly. Until then... mid-twenties be mine.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE that pic of Jordan and your husband! So cute. Don't worry about being a copter mom- your anxiety about your daughter's surroundings adjusts naturally based on the potential danger in a situation. It sounds to me like you are doing precisely the correct amount of protecting/ hovering. Rock on with your two beach trips in two days!