Friday, July 9, 2010

Baja Part Tres

I have the coolest kids on the planet. I know, I know. All parents say this. But mine are genuinely awesome! They are open to adventure, they are easy-going travelers, they are polite, they do what I ask, they are funny, they are kind, and they are good to each other. How many siblings can you say THAT about? I was a bit worried that being unplugged for a week was going to be a problem. It was a pointless worry. They can find creative ways to play anywhere they go.

They took to the ocean like the LaVelles that they are. (My maiden name.) We come from a rich tradition of being beach bums. Molly especially was smacked around quite a bit at first, but they both got the hang of maneuvering big waves by the end of the first day. On the second day, they were out on boogie boards. On the fourth day, Griffin worked up the courage to go out with my uncle on a real surfboard. That was amazing to see.

Griffin is a unique creature. One of his oddities is that he refuses to take instruction from a stranger. He's never been successful in any martial art/swim lesson/group class that he has tried because he "doesn't like people telling him what to do!" Pat and his son Kyle both wanted to give him some surfing lessons, but I was positive that Griffin would not go for it. What I didn't count on was the enormous gravitational pull from "cool cousin Kyle." Kyle is 23 and a pretty kick-ass surfer. He should be since Pat put him on a board at age 4! Griffin and Molly were instantly mesmerized by him. He spoke almost completely in slang. By the end of the week my kids sounded like Keanu Reeves. Griffin would stand on the beach and watch Kyle out there catching waves and you could see he was just in awe. So when Pat approached Griff about going out on a real board, he jumped at the chance.

That was my favorite moment of the trip. As I stood on the beach watching my uncle push Griffin out deeper and deeper into the bigger waves, I was overcome with what a wonderful opportunity this was for my son. Not only was he breaking out of his protective shell to try something a bit scary and difficult, but he was having this experience with part of our extended family. And it was all happening on a gorgeous beach in Mexico!! I am so grateful that I can provide these experiences to my children. My parents provided them to me, and they are my fondest memories of childhood. My parents took us out camping, swimming, exploring, and it made me who I am today.

Meanwhile, Miss Molly, who is normally quite nervous unless I am close by, practically forgot about me on this trip. First there was Aunt Barbara who very much encourages Molly's girly girl. They talk fashion and decoration without me (thank goodness.) Molly loved hanging out with her. Then there was Pickle. Yes, THE Pickle: legendary surfer chick who was moved to Baja permanently. Pickle lives in an old Airstream trailer and surfs every day. She earns money by being a caretaker for the vacation homes of Americans who only come down once or twice a year. It's a pretty sweet gig. Anyway, Pickle really caught Molly's imagination. Also, Pickle has a pack of Mexican dogs that follow her around because she feeds them. Molly fell right in with the dogs. Pretty soon Molly was talking about how she wants to decorate her trailer when she's older and what she wants her surfboard to look like. All I can say is that I'd rather her be a surfer chick than a fashion model.

I was going to write more, but I don't know what else there is to say that would be interesting to anybody. Yeah, there were a lot of insects. Insects that could eat American bugs for breakfast. BIG. And Kyle recognized a UFC fighter who was down at the beach learning to surf. Kyle geeked out and made me take a picture of them together. I think the fighter was a bit embarrassed because he really had looked like a goof out on the water. But oh well, everyone looks like an idiot when they are learning to surf. It's hard!

Also I could write a whole post about the poverty in Mexico and the asshole Americans who are moving down there and changing things and how we really could be doing more to build our neighbor up instead of exploiting her in so many ways. But I don't feel like going off on a political rant that most of you would already agree with anyway. Why preach to the choir?

However, I will end on food. I love fish. Why do I not eat more fish? Almost everyday we ate fish that we bought right off the boat. Amazing! And fresh, homemade tortillas! I could eat that combo, with some cillantro and fresh lime, every single day for the rest of my life.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, you are making me miss Mexico SO badly! I've been to Puerto Penasco (affectionately known to us Arizonan gringos as Rocky Point) a couple of times and so much of what you describe is my experience of it as well. I love it there. It's so beautiful.

    On a side note, you should check out that band Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers ( that I was trying to drag everyone to see in Houston. They write a lot about the beauty and wonder of Mexico, and I was hearing them in my head as I read your posts.