bodysurfing with me mum

In 1976 I was supposed to be in grade 6 at school. My school teacher would protest the fact that I was at school at all, for my mind was at the beach. I remember my parents taking my two brothers and I out of school early before one summer holiday break to participate in a family bonding trek into the country.

My main memories of that trip were the excitement of missing some school, Barry Crocker and the Beatles being played incessantly on the old VW's tape deck, and a beautiful beach.

My mum had heard from my aunt, who was a crazy scuba diver, about the beautiful coast of the south west. My brothers and I were all keen surfing grommets and nippers at the local surf club, our second home was the beach. The combination of the two forces were irresistible and we found ourselves surfing on our foamies at Smiths Beach. No crowds, mum looking on nervously from the beach, clear water, the same sun burn as Perth.

A quarter of a century had almost passed and I found myself driving my mum and my little brother down to the south west for a day trip to reminisce and be reinspired. A lot of things happen in quarter of a lifetime and our Smiths Beach trip was one of those fond memories that become treasures as we grow older. My brother and I grew into fully fledged surfers and the haunts along Caves road became our second home. My mum hadn't been back to the area in a longer time than she would care to remember.

My little brother danced across another wave out at Smiths reef but I took the time to sit with my mum on the beach. She was amazed that the place had changed so little and was still so beautiful. Watching my little brother (now 32 years old), she recounted how scared she was for her waterbabies on their flimsy foam surfboards a long time ago. My mum is in her late fifties. I still remember the shock of pride and joy when she suggested a swim. But then when we shared some small waves body surfing together, laughing at being tumbled or beached I really felt we had a special moment.

The day was beautiful, the beach was beautiful, the surrounds were beautiful and I have stored some treasure for me to share with my children of our days at the beach. Smiths Beach.

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