The best I can do is teach you why

Kate and Izzy on the path to the beach/ surf sisters

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

I just got back from a run. That’s pretty normal routine even on vacation. What set this mornings run apart was that I did it in a heavy downpour. 4 miles in 33 minutes – splashing in puddles, wiping rain from my eyes.

I was annoyed by the rain at first. I  checked the radar before leaving and thought I had a good window to run in before leaving. Like always the Florida humidity gripped me as soon as I set out. Within a half a mile I was breathing hard, wiping sweat from my forehead. Then the rain started. Light drops at first. Occasional cooling relief from the humidity. And then it broke loose. Heavy Florida style rain falling in big drops. Raining sideways making instant puddles on the running path. Two miles from home on my out and back route I had to decide how I would respond emotionally.

I decided to enjoy the cool rain. I slowed my planned pace a little. Not because I had to because of the rain, but because I was having fun – on a run. There are a lot of training runs that aren’t fun, but in the moment this morning I was given the choice of whether or not to embrace the experience.

 I wished that you kids were with me. I guess everyone is a kid again when they play in the rain. Unless you decide to hide from it and stay dry the rest of your life. I’m guilty of that sometimes. And that’s why getting caught in the rain was a good thing for me today.

Yesterday it rained most of the day. And I sat on the beach by myself just watching the waves, listening to the sounds, the rumbling thunder in the distance, and watching the dark clouds roll past. I can’t sit still. It’s my weakness. So being cooped up in the house all day was too much for me. I’ve enjoyed my quiet moments alone in the rain so far this week.

Izzy, I wrote to you last time we vacationed about my fear of letting you go too deep in the ocean. You’re our little surf girl. When I watch you play in your little Roxy bathing suits I can just sense that someday you’ll learn to ride a real surf board and that Tennessee may not be big enough for you. You love the water and nothing excites you more than big storm waves and a boogie board. I let you go a little deeper this week. I swam beside you still.

A big wave approached us and we met eyes for a moment.

“Not that one, Izzy” I said. “Too big.”

“But Daaaaad.”

“Too big, Izzy,” I said. “Remember that big wave that hurt Daddy last summer?”

“Yeah, I remember,” you said. “It crushed you. I rode it. I rode the wave that crushed you to the bottom.”

I let you ride the approaching wave. It turned out not to be a great ride as the wave fizzled a little. But the message was clear. I’m teaching you why, but you’re making your own way in life. You’ll ride the waves that I couldn’t someday. And the best I can do is teach you why you should  love the experiences.

I love you,

– Daddy

Kate, here you are in your normal spot. Just hanging out under the umbrella taking it all in. The princess likes to stay cool and dry.

Max, we took you down to the beach by yourself last night for awhile. You had a blast.