Whining, Looking Wistfully to the West

“Oh, and you’re so grown up.”

Let me try to make my point here, before I get off track: Mothers are people who see our faults and our potential. They try to guide us toward being responsible grownups.

Or, they see past our faults.

You have, no doubt, noticed that even (people generally identified as) grownups act a bit like children around their parents. A bit bratty, perhaps. An expectation of acceptance and forgiveness is sort of built into parenting. It may, wait a minute, be the very description of parenting.

No, wait; the expectation of acceptance and forgiveness (by our parents) and love (conditional, we’re lead to believe) is the very description of being a child. Being forced/required/expected to be accepting and forgiving and (unconditionally) loving is the description of parenting.

Whoa; that almost requires being a grownup. Grown up.

Trish, 1969

I would like to, right here, get into a whole deal about how my Mother, once I started board surfing, would, on most Sundays, load her seven children into the station wagon, various well-used surfboards on the rack, perhaps Phillip Harper along for the ride, and head for Tamarack. Later, Pipes (before the park), Swamis, maybe Grandview would be the destination. On the way home, we’d inevitably (or usually) stop by the garage in Oceanside where my Dad worked his second job, pick up a few bucks for ice cream or something.

On one particular Sunday, my Mom said we couldn’t go. “What? But…”

“Well, Junior (no, I am named after my father), you have to learn that life is hard; we can’t always get what we want.”

So, I did what I still do, what I’m doing right now with a northwest swell and an over-booked work schedule; I whined. I moped; I kicked the tires on the car. I looked wistfully toward the west; glancing, occasionally, back toward the house to see if this dejected-ness was being noticed.

Soon, we were enroute. I don’t remember if it was good. Didn’t matter.


You must be glad I didn’t get into that; though I add that my mother actually (and thoroughly) enjoyed the Sunday surf trips and told others so. “The housekeeping will still be there,” she told another mother at the beach (before this was in any way cool), big smile on her face. When I started going with friends, or driving myself, my older sister went to college, because our siblings didn’t have the same surf addiction, the trips tapered off. My mother died when I was eighteen.


“Mother’s Day is very tricky.” Adam “Wipeout” James, who, typically, plans some surf activity on Sundays, but, with his wife, Andrea, the mother of their two sons (this is the same person), his mother and her mother all in the general vicinity… yeah, he’ll figure something out.


“Erwin doesn’t give me anything for Mother’s Day. Never has. He says I’m not his mother.” Trisha Scott Dence.


Okay, so, she’s right. I don’t. And, is it Mother’s Day, or Mothers’ Day? She is, of course, the mother of our three children; the one they turn to for wisdom and acceptance and understanding (I sort of think my love for them is understood).


I have to hurry; want to get to the transfer station, get to a job; so, look; I’ve known Trish for very close to fifty years. I went to her 16th birthday party (I was 17, so…not too pervy). Only now realizing how young we were, she and I have grown up together. If I say she’s more a grownup than I am would just be too obvious…

…and not totally true. Yes, I whined to her that the surf was going to happen and circumstances and obligations would not allow me to go. Unless?

I wasn’t looking for someone to give me permission; I’m enough of a grownup to realize overbooking is, in some way, a sign of success (hey, it’s painting season) and surfing or not was my decision. And besides, next time there’s a swell, mid-week; I’m going. For sure. All those weekenders can just… not go. Vent, vent, whine; looking wistfully toward the west.


With our parents gone, orphaned, as most of us become; Trish and I have each other to be our sounding boards, to vent to, complain to. I’m not sure how much we’ve matured in these years; but, if we occasionally act like something other than fully adult, it’s probably with each other. We can disagree, argue; and it’s over.

Wait, maybe that’s more mature than holding in resentments.


To have Trish in my life is a gift to me; along with the acceptance of my faults, a still-there hope I have some (highly advertised [by me], yet-unreached) potential; and her love. Yeah, the love.


Okay; that’s it. Tomorrow, on Mother’s’ Day, as sort of a gift; I’ll drive George Takamoto to Sea-Tac. Of course, it kind of fits into my plan of painting in Silverdale on the way back; but, if Trish thinks it’s a gift… great.


And I hope all you surfers are enjoying the swell. Looks like fog on the coast. Next time. Next….time. And, shit; spent too much time on this; I’ll do the dump run on Monday.

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