When I Was a “Mom”

I often forget I once lived near the sea
And the miracle of waves was a part
of life. A van packed with stuff for the beach.
For a couple of kids the good times would start
with an after work jaunt to La Jolla Shores.
Sea lions sunned on buoys. “Shuffle your feet
in low surf! Rays!” the lifeguard station warned.
“How bad’s a ray sting, Martha?” “Like a big bee.”
The sun slowly dropped. A trip to the van
for Hibachi and coals. Soon the fire’s lit.
“Come in now. Shower and change.” Off they ran.
Dinner was fruit salad, burgers and chips.
Exhausted, the kids slept all the way home.
Beach trips were a highlight when I was “mom.”

La Jolla Shores


For several years I was a stepmom to two boys and a mom-like aunt to a little girl. Anyone who’s been that person in a kid’s life knows it’s kind of weird, but there it is.

The kids had to go to school with me in the morning for however many classes I taught. For them the compensation was 1) a Happy Meal for lunch and 2) a trip to La Jolla Shores after school, usually around 4 pm until dark. The Good X joined us when he got off work. When I try to really remember this, it seems so long ago and so far away. La Jolla Shores wasn’t my favorite beach, but it was definitely the best one to take kids in the late afternoon. There is a large grassy park with tables, nice showers, concrete bins for hot coals.

Of course, the adventures were never as simple as the sonnet relates, but they were always a lot of fun. Once I was trying to read Wm. S. Burroughs’ extremely strange novel, Naked Lunch while the Good X and his son were body-surfing. A sea gull pooped all over my back. I got up, washed, threw the book in the trash. Another time I stood on the shore and watched whales spout in the distance. Usually the water in Southern California is pretty cold, but sometimes a warm current comes in which activates the Stingrays. I loved body surfing and swimming in the ocean beyond the breakers. It really ruined me for swimming pools which I hate. In case you’re curious, my favorite beach was Coronado Beach. BUT…I’m not much of a beach person, obviously. For me it remained a wonderful, amazing, beautiful place to share with friends. I loved walking on long beaches with friends and talking about life, the universe and everything. Of all the beach things I miss that the most.

This isn’t a great sonnet, but it was an interesting exercise.

6 thoughts on “When I Was a “Mom”

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