[INTO THE DAWN] Memories of Summer 2009

Elementary school began yesterday, and on the one hand it seems hard to let the summer go, but on the other hand there were some moments I could have done without.  For instance, all summer long I put off getting my bi-annual haircut/head shave because my eight year old told me, “You’re ugly enough as it is.”  Don’t kids say the cutest things?  When I finally came home with my new ‘do,’ Skylee literally screamed, “NO!”  Then she added nervously, “Will it grow back?”

Others didn’t hold back with their honest opinions.  Skylee’s neighbor friend was with her and said, “You look weird.”  Fortunately my six year old Sabrina was there to pick my esteem up off the floor and actually said she liked the cut.  I’m still getting comments about the haircut, including one yesterday from a peer, “Your hair looked better the way you had it.”  Maybe I need to grow it out again and get a job as a rock star?  Regardless, after my experiences of the summer, I’m hyper conscious of what I say about people’s haircuts.

Andy surfing with friends
Andy surfing with friends by D. Kadah Tanaka

Skylee broke her wrist camping, after the third of a series of six scheduled nights.  I knew it was broken when I heard the cry.  Parents just know.  The banshee wailings is a big hint.  Needless to say the camping trip ended at that moment, but we salvaged some nights outside out.  I ended up pitching the tent in our backyard and we spent several more nights sleeping in it before I finally broke it down on the last day of summer.

Speaking of nights outside, Skylee and Sabrina saw their first shooting stars during the big meteor shower on August 12.  At about 11pm we went outside, sat in chairs and glued our eyes to the night sky, which is something we don’t do enough of in life.  I saw three, Sabrina two and Skylee one before we went in for the night.  The bulk of the activity wasn’t anticipated until after midnight, which was just too late.  So at 3am I awoke to catch part of the show.  I tried to wake both daughters, who wanted to get up for it, but they just didn’t budge.  So I went outside alone and witnessed more than a dozen stars streaking across the sky.  It was pretty damn cool.

This summer I shed weight and got fairly toned as I have been gearing up to surf the gladiator pit known as San Francisco’s Ocean Beach this fall.  My stomach right now reminds me of the body of a boa constrictor I had as a pet as a child.  No, I’m not talking about right after the boa swallowed its rats, when there was a big lump in its body.  That was my pre-summer look.  The lump is mostly gone, digested if you will.  I might not have the best haircut in town. but my body feels and looks better than it has since I stopped surfing regularly over a decade ago.  You can’t imagine how happy I am to be back in the water!

I figured if I didn’t get back into surfing now I probably never would, so I worked myself in shape.  As a result Skylee acknowledged my commitment to getting back in the water the other day.  “My dad is really good at exercising.”  She and her friend were talking about what people are good at doing.  At least they weren’t talking about my hair.

Title image credit: Vivek Chugh

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