When a child is born, parents wish him* the best. Usually they are concerned about his well-being... safety... happiness...
Raising a child is a venture that lasts for many, many years... even if parents have one big duty to perform. They have to learn to let go as soon as possible, as soon as they feel their child is ready to stand on his own two feet. Which was for Popeye and I, our first and foremost duty - getting JayCee to stand on his own two feet... which does not mean we did score well there!
I know. This sounds so much like some barroom philosophy!
Well, I told the story many times. I even wrote a post about it. Our son, JayCee was very independent from a very early age. And we encouraged this streak in him since he knew that we loved him very, very much and that we’d always be there for him...
But I have to admit that this child was sometimes quite hard to manage, at least for me. His father, Popeye-the-sailor-man, is a lot like him. Independent and willful.
From time to time, well, almost all the time I should say, I feel like I am married to someone from another planet. As far as JayCee is concerned, I am the mother hen who sat on a duck’s egg. The poor hen cackles around the pond trying to get her duckling out of the water! To no avail, of course and this is how it should be by the way.
JayCee, my son, I enjoyed so much all those years when you went boating with a book in your hands... You were so much like me... then...
Do you remember August 1995? Well, lots of things were happening at Les Tertres, I am sure. But the most important one, that summer, was riding the Woody!
The first time was a little bit stressing for you. I did water-ski when I was much younger so it was fun watching you on this funny board!
But by the end of the summer, you were so delighted that once more, you became as reckless as one can be at 15.
Years followed years. I took pictures. It was a lot of help most of the time. Taking pictures allowed me to distance myself from the stress your antics created in my poor mother hen’s fluttering heart.
Do not misread me there. I was very proud of you. You were so great flying all over the sea! I still remember the day when the boat from Saint-Malo stopped right in the middle of La Rance and tourists started cheering...
I almost felt like standing up and bowing: “Thank you. Thank you very much. This is my son. Yes, my son!”
Here are a few pictures, probably too many to your liking because you have always been very humble about your accomplishments.
Well, feel at ease... It was very difficult to take pictures from the boat so most pictures are not this good after all. I mean, they do not pay a good tribute to your talents.
Ok, let’s start... I picked a few years at random, mainly because this idea about wakeboarding came to my mind a very short while ago. I was walking on the beach and watching a young guy who was desperately trying to stand up on his windsurfing board on a very, very calm sea... There was no mother hen around. Probably why he never managed to stay on his board and got discouraged very quickly.
Do you realize that over the years, I have thousands of pictures of you and all your childhood and teenage years wakeboarding friends. Yes, I do. This is crazy. Starting in 1995 until this summer.
1997 - You got rid of your life jacket... And you are getting better, real better!
1998 - So good and so reckless...
You really were prepared to sacrifice everything to keep on being a crazy wakeboarder, weren't you?
But you know what? When the duckling gets back on board, he's still very cute and quite dashing!
Well, I have to be realistic there, my hero! You did fall and you fell a lot. Some falls were really impressive and others really hurt.
The amazing thing was that they never deterred you from starting another ride.
And up you went flying again...
This summer, we had a lot of fun though when you went barefoot wakeboarding on your ol’ Woody.
So much fun. So much action. Quite a few incidents, some of them quite serious though. But all things considered, those were brilliant moments with us, parents and friends!
You "flew" over the sea for so many years and we got used to your stunts.
You loved those moments but you probably got bored after all and you decided to fly even higher and there you are...
On your first solo flight...
Happy Birthday, JayCee!
*him or her, of course.
*Good Luck, and Good Night*