There are many things that are hard about motherhood that I wasn't expecting--least of which was having bad hair days for over a year and probably most of which was trying to find myself again once my identity shifted, even though I've meant to and wanted to be a mother forever; even though I miss Avalon when I'm surfing and when she's sleeping.
On this wave there was a guy behind me, a guy who just got dropped in on by my friend Mike M. on another good wave. I didn't think he'd make the section, but he was fast on his retro fish. When we kicked out he gave me a big thumbs up and called over the sound of the waves and wind, "You were ripping!" I was shocked (and sorry and oddly validated).
I feel like in 30 years I could be a pretty good person, but I might not live that long so I need to try harder now; to do little things every day that make people feel like they matter and are seen and heard and loved. To be more of what I need when I'm sad or confused or lonely for other people when they are. To be like that guy in a fisherman's hat riding a fish who congratulated me even though the wave was his. I want all of that to be a part of my evolving identity too.
I know I don't get to surf as much as I used to. Sometimes that even comes out to the psychologist I occasionally see, but I enjoy it more too (I mean it). I notice more now like how the cold water actually feels good and makes your heart beat slower so you can focus on just one thing; that a friend has grown a weird beard or gotten a new board with a black stringer. To notice that you're actually excited that your life has changed.