Sunday, September 29, 2013

Surf Challenge!

Friday was open house at my son's school. Open house is the day you get to sit in your kid's chair in your kid's classroom and listen to the hopeful meanderings of your kid's teacher as she explains some of the hopeful curriculum she plans to implement for the school year. If I sound skeptical or negative in any way in the use of the word "hopeful," I would rather it come across as more from the hardened warrior parent's expectation level based on two previous public school campaigns. It's not that my expectations are low, in fact they are not. It is more that mood regarding this sort of thing is tied, like some sort of perverse see-saw, to the expectations of my fellow parents. And their expectations seem to be all over the place at times. Whereas I hear a rather progressive, attentive and thoughtful tone from my son's teacher, some other parents seem like they hear something else entirely. And I think to myself that it might be the height of teaching professionalism should anything organic happen to happen in an environment that craves such concrete and unerring protocols. Which leads me to the topic of surf contests. Or rather, my inclusion in one. Or rather my decision to participate in one. I spend an inordinate amount of time telling my son failure is good. He has that natural fear of failure, that innate human desire for the safety of quiet success and I know this will need to be overcome if he's going to do anything he's really proud of. I mean I've been told that myself a thousand times via a hundred canned TED talks. And so, staring down the barrel of Ty Breuer's antagonizing gun of "so, you gonna come to the comp?" I have to say yes. I have to set an example. Right? I'm no professional surfer, or semi professional one. Shit, I'm not even amateur when it comes to contests. In fact, I was awful out there. Onshoresideshore and just enough water moving to keep me and my tired arms out of any proper take off spot. And there was China Ty just killing. Wave after waves it seemed, while I kept having to swim in to fetch my board. Somehow I got just enough funny poses off to be slightly more entertaining than the other guys. And when I stumbled in after my last Quixotic attempt at a headstand, there was my son to run up and give me a big hug.

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