Four and half years on and I have yet to find a way to balance fatherhood and surfing. Prior to Munchkin 1, I was surfing 3-4 times per week when the conditions were right. This was a large time commitment that Natalie tolerated because she knew that I was passionate about it. Post Munchkin 1, I was surfing 3-4 times per month. To those of you that don't surf, am I sure that this still seems like a lot, and in hindsight, it seems like a lot to me now too.
Now that the population of Munchkinland has doubled and my work schedule has changed, I am surfing once a month, maybe. I think that there was a stretch from October - January that I didn't surf
This is partly due to the fact that I have a one day a week window in which a multitude of things must go right. This is my pre-launch check list:
- The forces of nature must all coincide to create surf-able waves. This does still happen quite regularly.
- I then cross reference the Munchkinland Social Events & Outings Calendar to look for any conflicts with birthday parties, festivals, day trips, play dates, cookie/cupcake/brownie decorating demos, etc.
- Once I have identified a 4-5 hour window that I might be able to claim for myself, an application for a surf pass has to be submitted in advance and confirmation of approval must be obtained. My understanding has always been that the Surf Pass Review Board is comprised of just one member, however the most recent review was open to the public and Munchkin 1 cast a nay vote. (I challenged the validity of her vote and my challenge was upheld, but I will not forget that when it comes time to discuss the appropriate dating age and wanting her own cell phone.)
- I now cross my fingers that in between the time that the kids are put to bed and I leave the house in the morning, one of them doesn't get sick, have a liquid absorption device malfunction, get hungry, have a bad dream, fall out of bed, or just plain wake up ready to start the day at 4AM. (The reason I am crossing my fingers is because an approved pass is not a guarantee. The Surfing With Kids Bylaws: Article 1: Section 1: Paragraph A; states: A surf pass can be revoked at anytime for any reason and is not transferable to another day or time. This is not a frequent occurrence, but it has happened.
Today 1-4 above have all gone in my favor, I am now on my way. Literally today at 6:05am, I am going to go surfing. One last check of the current wind and ocean conditions and....the wind has gone South, forecast to be West which is not ideal, but still surfable, but South wind is a deal breaker. Oh well, a quick check of The Surfing With Kids Bylaws 1.1.A to confirm that my pass has been revoked and now it's time to scour Craigslist for a new lawnmower.
I really do appreciate surfing more now than ever, just like I would appreciate a giant glass of water after being stranded in the desert for a week. Thank you to my beautiful wife for supporting my foolish pursuit of a completely selfish endeavor. In the not too distant future I am hoping that the kids will develop an interest in surfing; or at the very least an interest in something that allows me to surf more. Until then I will continue to submit my surf pass applications and live vicariously through my friends that still get to drink water on a regular basis.