HEATHER LIND: Oribi Mom – The beach never gets old

"Where did those twenty-something years go in the blink of an eye?"

An old friend’s son has just turned 18. He was 11 just last week. A certain Oribi Dad’s big midlife birthday is also fast approaching. I can still remember the moment our eyes met for the first time like it was five minutes ago. Toes in beach sand, but wearing a jersey because it was the middle of July. South Coast living is very kind in that way. You can grab a jacket but still get away with shorts and slops most days of the year.

My 15-year-old self was a little different from now. Bolder, and much cheekier, with a smaller waist and an even narrower worldview. All of the people there teased us about a summer fling that was sure to end once we all got back to school. We didn’t even live in the same town. Twenty-three years later, our fling is a ring, three sweet sons, two dogs, and many memories of other beautiful beaches we’ve explored together. What are the chances?

Also, where did those twenty-something years go in the blink of an eye? We’ve already moved past so much life and so many changes. I still like Turkish Delight, but it sits on the hips a little easier these days. He still likes Greenday and jokes about it near the end of every September. The Lion King still makes both of us gulp back the tears. It’s 30 years old. Thirty! That’s as old as the new South Africa!

What was I doing thirty years ago? Grade 2, I think, with Mrs Bentley, who loved tennis and dyeing her hair strange colours. She was certainly younger then than I am right now. There’s a thought. She loved tennis, as I did, which is probably why I remember her hair and mini skirts. That was what we wore to play tennis then. Little skirts with ball holders clipped on the back of them, so we could serve with only one ball in our hands and not throw it up skew. We must have been so cute! We thought we were the bee’s knees.

In another thirty years, I’m sure I’ll have a more mature perspective on my life right now. What will it look like from over there, to look back in this chaotic and exhausting mother-of-three-little-boys phase? Why did I use to think it was so hard? Who knows?

That’s why we do it as best we can in each moment. Isn’t each of those moments life itself?


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