Friday, July 9, 2010

Surf's up


"YAY! YOU DID IT!!!!!"


These are things I say to Max day in and day out. Anytime he achieves something, whether it's climbing up stairs with minimal assistance, successfully grasping a crayon and coloring (no mean feat for him), or spelling his name out loud, I am thrilled—and I want Max to know it. I want him to take pride in his accomplishments, all of 'em. I want him to feel inspired to do more, more, more.

Every so often, though, I get bummed about what Max can't do. Like the morning last week when the kids were at camp, and Dave and I took a long walk on the boardwalk. We got to the end, where some kids were surfing. They must have been about 10, three years older than Max. We stood there and watched.

Suddenly, I got choked up by the thought that Max would never be one of those boys surfing out there, so carefree. I mean, I am sure there is adaptive surfing. But he is not ever going to be a kid who can just pick up a board, run into the waves, jump on and surf. I am not being pessimistic here. That is the reality; Max lacks the upper-body strength and muscle control to do that sort of thing.

"Max will never be able to do that," I said to Dave, speaking behind the safety of my sunglasses.

Dave kept his eyes on the surfer boys. "Max will enjoy what he can do," he said, simply.

And just like that, the sad spell was broken.


  1. Dave is officially the coolest Dad and Husband EVER!

  2. A.W.E.S.O.M.E.!!!! Take a moment and just thank The Good Lord for your amazing husband, and family.

    Your blog is SO refreshing, and honest!

  3. That is just so awesome! And totally something I needed to hear today.

  4. Max can absolutely have the chance to surf. Not sure exactly where you are in relation to NYC, but this should be "semi-local".

  5. Don't you just love a husband who can keep our mommy minds grounded?!

  6. Jen: WOW!!! Thank you for telling me about Surfer's Way! It is within driving distance! Funny, I know who one of the sponsors is because he has this cool Surfcam I once randomly found online that I check out from time to time:

  7. Wow. Dave earned his keep that day!

  8. We all need to hear that...disabled or not

  9. Yes, I think your husband is a keeper...and his words are speak to all of us. Bless you x

  10. Dave is sooo right - he will enjoy the things he can do just like the rest of us. I know this with certainty because I can't surf either and I'm not missing it.

    This post brought to mind a youtube video I watched a while ago about a drop-out service dog that turned into a working surfing dog with a boy who needed him. You should watch it if you have a moment - it won't dissapoint! I think of this video often on days when I feel like you did looking at the surfers and thinking of Max and I don't have my husband next to me to bring me back to reality.

  11. I think the fact that our husbands tend to say so little, is the reason the impact is so big when the right couple of words come out. My husband is a man of few words. sometimes those few words can seem so cunning and so insensitive, but most times they are just perfect!

  12. Wow. Your husband is fabulous. I need to remember that line for myself and my kids.

  13. Dave is a good man! You two balance each other out so well.

    Today I was leaving the Y and a Mom was dropping her son off for a karate lesson. She just stopped in front of the door, he climbed out of the truck (he was probably about 10 or 11) and ran into the Y. She watched to make sure he got in OK and then drove off. I sat there thinking - I will never be able to do that with Emily. She won't have that level of independence. I refuse to linger on those kinds of thoughts, but sometimes they just sneak up on you!

  14. Dave's comment is SOOO true! Sometimes I have to take a step back and realize that it is ME who feels that Jonah is missing out, while he is an extremely happy child who takes great joy in the things he can do. Who are we to dictate what will bring enjoyment to our children -- special needs or not?

    Thanks to your husband for a very welcome reminder!

  15. Ellen, I could never do that.

    I tried it, almost killed myself. Fell off the board, hit myself in the head, total bummer. I just could not balance on the thing.

    Now, I have no trouble balancing five meals on an oversized tray, but surfing? Not happening. Never, ever. I'm not capable, and I know it.

    No carefree running into the surf for me! But hey, so what--I'll waddle into the lake and enjoy that to the fullest! Because THAT, I can do...

    Que sera sera, girlfriend...what will be, will be. Dave is right. You cut your cloth according to your measure, and live life to the fullest of your ability! I do it, you do it, and so can Max!


Thanks for sharing!

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