This morning Ella(4yrs.old), Emma Grace(7yrs.old), and I watched one of our favorite movies, Blue Crush. For those of you who don’t know, it is a movie about a girl preparing for a surf competition, while balancing responsibilities of work, raising her sister, training, and a new romance(sounds cheesy I know, but we love it). There are a few great lessons in this movie. Toward the end of the movie things get intense as the girls are surfing the Pipeline in the competition. Our hero, Ann Marie, is out in the water fighting to overcome a paralyzing fear lingering within her as a result of a past injury and near drowning. As the three of us cuddled on the sofa under one blanket, the girls began to rattle off questions, a symptom of their nervousness. Being a recreational surfer and by no means an expert, I attempted to answer their questions in an effort to calm them. My explanations quickly led to a few of the important lessons in this movie. This is how it went :
Emma Grace, definitely the drama queen of our three children, shifted to the dynamics of the relationships in the movie. She asked,” Did she break up with her new boyfriend? Why is her friend mad at her?” I explained the new couple did not break up, but Ann Marie regained the focus she needed to achieve her dream by putting that boy on the shelf for a bit(and I may have added a little extra info for Emma Grace’s own benefit like…it’s best not to have boys around anyway because they pretty much mess up everything….just saying). Just when I finished saying that, Aleck, who had disappeared so he didn’t have to watch a “girl” movie, popped his head around the corner like some kind of ninja meerkat, streaked across the living room in his PJs, and yelled, “Ohhhh she’s going to drown. Yep. She’s going to drown!” I said, “See what I mean. Boys will mess stuff up.”
Upon hearing Aleck, Ella began to ask what would happen if she drowned. I answered, ” You’re not going to drown. You’re sitting on the sofa eating cinnamon melts. You need water to drown.” For those of you who know Ella, you know she gets ticked if you don’t answer her questions seriously. “Daddy, nooooo. I told you noooo joking around. Noooo tricking. You promised.” I had forgotten… I did make that promise on Friday when she asked me what we had for bedtime snack and I answered, ” Snake sandwiches, rat tail soup, or lizard tongue ice cream.” She DID NOT think it was funny and made me promise to be Mr. Serious. Anyway, I told her about water safety, buddy swimming, being with Amy or me, and respecting the power of water. Aleck ran back through saying, “She hasn’t caught a wave yet!?”, then disappeared into his bedroom.
I’ll sum up the rest of the lessons, no tricking as Ella would say, and hopefully you can use them in your own lives this week. If you surf, you know how special your time in the ocean can be. There are so many surf analogies on life. The wave is life. Catching a wave is you making a decision with your life. Your ride on the wave is your journey through life. I won’t go any deeper into any of those. Let’s keep it simple. In Blue Crush, the hero is so afraid to charge a wave because of her past. Her mind has paralyzed her. Finally a Pro Surfer comes over and “slaps” her out of it, telling her to paddle her hardest, kick like crazy, and use all her heart to catch a wave. Again, sounds cheesy right? It isn’t really. How many times in life do we just sit on our boards? We’re too afraid to charge a wave or we’re waiting on the perfect wave. Either way, we’re still just sitting. That is why it’s important to have people in our lives that “slap” us out of our inaction. Friends to push us and hold us accountable to our own dreams. Family to love us, but yell at us to get off our butts, onto our feet, and into a wave. If you are afraid, you have to overcome the fear. If you’re waiting on the perfect wave…sllllaaaaapppp….there is NO PERFECT WAVE. The ocean is tough…life is tough. It will pound you, crush you, beat you up, swallow you, and spit you out. Still, there is NO EXCUSE to sit! As my girls cheered at the end of the movie when the hero caught a wave, I began to think about all the things they will surely face as they grow. Through teary eyes I squeezed them tight and chanted with them, “Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!” Now, as I look at pictures below from this summer’s beach trip, I realize how powerful the ocean is…how powerful life is. I realize I won’t always be able to hold their hands and help them balance as I did while giving their first surfing lesson, but I also realize they were brave enough to get on the board in the first place. And that’s all I can ask of them…to be brave. It’s all I can ask of myself…to be brave. Demand it of yourself. Remember : Sitting on your board will never overcome fear, but charging a wave will. Don’t be afraid to do what you KNOW you NEED to do. Paddle your hardest, kick like crazy, and use all your heart….catch YOUR wave….and enjoy the ride 🙂