"Love me when I least deserve it, because that's when I really need it."
~ Swedish Proverb, from Dr. Robert Melillo's book, "Reconnected Kids"

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My little surfer dudes...

So last Saturday, Surfers For Autism came to Tybee Island. Of course we were there - and this time, both Aidan AND Aeson got to surf! As a bonus, Aidan and I made the local news (which Aidan is pretty sure, now makes us FAMOUS!) Check it out!

Look at how our day began…just beautiful!
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I arrived at the beach at 7am to help Sushi unload and set up for the event.
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Andy brought the boys down at the start of the event - the monkeys were thrilled that Daddy was with us on the beach!
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Aidan was in the very first group to surf, and he was ready to go!
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Aidan and his first AWESOME surf team!
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Then, it was Aeson's turn to surf! Ace was super excited, but a little hesitant to stand. (It didn't help that the water was very rough that morning!)
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When his first session was over, Ace didn't want to get off of the surf board…so his AMAZING surf team picked up the board with Aeson on it, and carried them both up the beach!
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When Aeson got to surf a second time, he looked for the same team and asked them to surf with him again. These guys (and gal) were awesome! Positive and fun, and DETERMINED to get Ace to stand up and really SURF!
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SUCCESS! Ace was SO proud of himself!

Many thanks to Johnny, Patrick and Shannon - Ace's AWESOME surf team!
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The boys surfed ALL day long - every time it was their turn, they were both ready! Aidan got to surf with Dave and Carolyn, and had such a good time, he asked them to surf with Aeson as well. They had some rad rides - Aidan and Dave rode through a small tube that Aidan is STILL talking about! Wish I had a photo of THAT! My camera battery gave out on me, but I did manage to snap a photo of each of the boys with Dave and Carolyn. Thanks y'all - the boys had a blast!
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I'm really kicking myself for not taking a group photo - we had an awesome group of folks cheering for the boys. Me, Andy, Ashwin, Mimi, Papa, Mema…and look who came down all the way from Virginia to support the boys…
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Paw Paw! Thanks everyone for being part of our special day! We love you ALL!

Fast forward one week…you guessed it - MORE surfing!

Yesterday, Aidan and I headed to Tybee to check out Hot Sushi's 'One Love, One Fin' local surf showdown. We didn't really know what to expect, but I knew we'd have fun. And maybe, Aidan would even get to surf a little too. There was a good turnout of local surfers, and an awesome collection of single-fin vintage surfboards for everyone to use. Sushi was filming the event, but he let Aidan try out one of his boards.

Aidan's first ride on a single-fin vintage surfboard…thanks for the photo, Sushi!

The problem, unfortunately, was that Aidan's mom did not know what she was doing, trying to help give Aidan a push into the waves. He ate it pretty hard a couple of times. Not wanting to drown the kid, we headed to the beach. (I should note here that Aidan was bummed about leaving the water, but he understood it was for safety and he kept his cool. My, how far we have come!) Back on the beach, Aidan quickly caught on that this event was a sort of competition - and he wanted IN! I told him he couldn't compete because he could not yet surf on his own. (When he surfs with Sushi, Sushi sets him up and kind of pushes him into the waves to get started. There is an art to the push off - i don't have it yet, but I'm working on that!) He was REALLY mad with me because he couldn't compete, and he was DYING to surf. He played with some kids, learning to skim board for a while, and watching the other surfers compete.

Here are the finalists, getting ready to surf. Check out those awesome boards!

The surfing was SO much fun to watch! I even managed to get at least one shot of each finalist, shredding the waves! Great job, everyone!







During the competition, Shane (from North Island Surf and Kayak) took pity on Aidan, loaned him a soft top board, and volunteered to help him catch a few waves. (Thanks Shane, you ROCK!) A few minutes later, Aidan thanked Shane and told him he wanted to surf on his own...and he did! For the next hour and a half or so, Aidan paddled out, turned himself around, and caught his OWN waves. First staying very shallow, but getting a little braver (and deeper) with each ride!







It was AWESOME to watch (and photograph!) I stood on the beach, snapping photos and thinking a favorite line from Dr. Seuss' "Oh! The Places You'll Go!"
"And will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed. 98 3/4 percent guaranteed! Kid, you'll move mountains!"

My strong willed and fiercely determined little man - you make your Mama SO very proud of you every day!

And check out this sunset - perfect ending to an AWESOME day!


When I finally dragged him out of the water, he said, "Mama, next competition, I WON'T be sitting on the beach watching!" And I know he's right!

Future mountains had better look out for Aidan Pence!

To all the surfers from the last two Saturdays, a big Mahalo from me and Aidan!

Much love,


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